East Orange man arrested for shooting two Newark police officers

Kendall Howard

NEWARK, NJ — The man suspected of shooting two Newark police officers on Tuesday, Nov. 1, was arrested and charged the following day, Nov. 2. Kendall Howard, 30, of East Orange, is accused of shooting the two police officers as they tried to question him that afternoon near an apartment building in Newark, according to authorities.

According to officials, Howard had been wanted in connection with an Oct. 28 shooting in Newark. Officers first approached Howard on Nov. 1 after a witness recognized him from a flyer and reported it to police. After the officers attempted to serve a warrant on Howard, in the area of Chancellor Avenue and Van Velsor Place, on Nov. 1, authorities allege that Howard shot the two officers, who were rushed to University Hospital in Newark for treatment.

“First and foremost, we are relieved to announce that the two officers who were shot are in stable condition and are expected to have a full and complete recovery,” acting Essex County Prosecutor Theodore N. Stephens II said during a Nov. 2 press conference.

According to Newark Public Safety Director Fritz G. Fragé, both of the wounded officers had been on the job for a year and a half. 

According to Stephens, Howard was arrested at approximately 11:10 a.m. by the Newark Police Department’s Emergency Response Team at the apartment building where the shooting took place following a more than seven-hour search, which included a search of the premises and an evacuation of the approximately 80 units in the building. 

“It was a combination of keeping the public safe and doing the search,” Stephens said. “Policing is tough work; law enforcement is tough work. … I’m so grateful that no one else got hurt, so I am pleased with that part.”

At the press conference, Fragé credited the arrest to the collaboration between multiple law enforcement agencies on the federal, state, county and municipal levels.

“Criminals don’t have jurisdictional boundaries — neither should law enforcement,” Fragé said.

Officials also praised not only the other Newark police officers who arrived at the scene to help, but a civilian woman who helped. According to Mayor Ras J. Baraka, this woman — who is not being identified at this time — exited her vehicle, tried to staunch the flow of blood from one of the officer’s injuries and worked to drag him to safety.

Fragé also praised this woman’s actions.

“Shots being fired and they’re there, bending over, trying to drag an officer to safety. This is the true collaboration and support that we have from the community,” Fragé said. “Those heroic actions should be commended.”

After commending law enforcement for the quick apprehension of Howard, N.J. Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin decried the continued prevalence of gun violence in New Jersey and the nation.

“Let me just reiterate something that unfortunately we say way too often. Gun violence is and remains an epidemic in this country and remains an epidemic in the state of New Jersey, and we’re doing everything we can to combat that epidemic, but it takes the work of the women and men (in law enforcement) who show up every day to keep our state and our communities safe, including this great city,” Platkin said at the press conference. “Two great officers showed up yesterday to do their job and unfortunately were shot in the line of duty. But also, six individuals, including those two officers, across our state were shot last night. And it’s that steady drumbeat of violence that we are working so hard to eradicate. Fortunately, gun violence has declined in New Jersey over this year, but even one person shot, especially a law enforcement officer, is too many.”