Detectives John Traynor and Mustafa Dombayci saw the gunman running with the rifle down 16th Avenue toward Rosa Parks Boulevard shortly before 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and began chasing him, Police Director Jerry Speziale said.
“At one point, he carelessly fired the weapon into the air with detectives still in pursuit,” Speziale said.
The bullet went into a home, but no one was struck, he said.
The detectives, meanwhile, took cover while continuing to follow the gunman, who ducked into a rear yard on Park Avenue and out of sight, he said.
Police established a perimeter but didn’t find him.
Detective Anthony Castronova recovered the AK-47 assault rifle in one of the rear yards on Park Avenue, Speziale said.
Sgt. .Rick LaTrecchia also found a loaded .38-caliber revolver in an adjacent yard along the gunman’s escape route, he said.
Both guns were being submitted to New Jersey State Police ballistics lab in an attempt to trace them and determine whether they may have been used in crimes.
That made three more guns seized by Paterson police this month, bringing June’s total to more than three dozen.
The night before, detectives found a loaded .40-caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic handgun reported stolen out of Georgia after chasing another suspect who vanished into rear yards at 11th Avenue and East 32nd Street.
It, too, was submitted for testing.
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