UPDATED: Four Trenton police officers were injured including one critically after being shot at during a wild pursuit of a stolen sedan that ended in a major wreck overnight, authorities said.
One Trenton police officer remained in critical condition as of 3 p.m. Wednesday, according to Casey DeBlasio, a spokesperson for the Mercer County Prosecutor's Office. A second police officer was hospitalized in serious but stable condition, she said.
One of the stolen car suspects was in critical condition. A second suspect was hospitalized with broken bones. A third suspect and two additional police officers were treated for injuries and released, DeBlasio said.
All three suspects face attempted murder, eluding and weapons charges, she said.
The chase began about 2:30 a.m. when officers were notified of a social media post showing a group of people with guns driving around the city looking for people to shoot, according to DeBlasio.
Trenton Officers Michael Gettler and Jeffery Pownall came upon a 2003 red Ford Focus four-door sedan reported stolen near Parkside and Olden Avenue, she said.
The accused car thieves fired at least four shots at the officers as they passed a Home Depot. The patrol vehicle was struck once in its top roof lights as police pursued the stolen car up Olden Avenue toward Ewing Township and then back into Trenton, DeBlasio said.
No officers were struck by gunfire, nor did the police officers return fire, according to DeBlasio.
As the stolen sedan neared the intersection of North Olden and North Clinton avenues, it struck a second Trenton police vehicle in which Officers Kevin Starkey and Brian Walker were riding. Both vehicles spun and the stolen sedan struck a white minivan traveling in the opposite direction, she said.
All of the injured police officers and suspects were taken to Capital Health Regional Medical Center.
Three suspects from Trenton are in custody. Criminal charges are pending, against them including attempted murder, eluding and weapons offenses, DeBlasio said. They are:
- Zaire Butler, 19, who suffered internal injuries in the crash and remains hospitalized in critical condition.
- Nazere Crews, 18, who suffered a fractured femur and remains hospitalized.
- A 16-year-old male who suffered a fractured wrist, and was treated and released.
After the crash, Trenton Police Officers Orlando Santiago and Andy Gomez approached the stolen sedan. Santiago slipped in fluids from the crash and cut his elbow. Gomez cut his hand on broken glass, DeBlasio said.
Officer Starkey was in critical condition suffering serious head trauma. Officer Walker also sustained serious head injuries and was hospitalized in stable condition.
Officer Santiago was treated for a head injury and scraped elbow. Officer Gomez was treated for cuts to his hands. Officers Gettler and Pownell were evaluated and released.
One shell casing and two projectiles were found near the Home Depot in Ewing. A FN PS90 sub-gun was found in Trenton in front of 664 Olden Ave. A Glock 26 9mm and an AR-15 pistol were found in the backseat of the stolen sedan, and three spent 9mm casings were found in its front passenger seat floor board, DeBlasio said.
The Mercer County Prosecutor's Office and Mercer County Homicide Task Force was investigating.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.