Mayor lashes out over memorial for cop-killer

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Mayor lashes out over memorial for cop-killer
A makeshift memorial is seen for Jersey City Police officer Melvin Santiago, who was killed while on duty at the West District precinct, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., on Sunday, July 13. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A man carries a portrait of Jersey City Police officer Melvin Santiago, who was killed while on duty, as people paid respects for the fallen officer at the West District precinct, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., on July 13. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A pedestrian stands besides a memorial for 23-year-old Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago at the Walgreens where he was fatally shot the previous day, Monday, July 14, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Santiago, who joined the force last July and was sworn in December, was fatally shot in the head inside his marked police car as he pulled up to the store. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Pedestrians walk past a memorial for 23-year-old Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago outside the Walgreens where he was fatally shot the previous day, Monday, July 14, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Santiago, who joined the force last July and was sworn in December, was fatally shot in the head inside his marked police car as he pulled up to the store. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
This photo provided by the Jersey City Mayor's office shows Officer Melvin Santiago. Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at a Walgreens Pharmacy at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop says Santiago was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center. No other details about the officer were immediately released. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Jersey City Mayor's office)
This 2013 Jersey City Police Department photo provided by the Office of the Mayor of Jersey City shows Daniel Wilson. Police are also searching for Wilson, who they believe was involved in a previous homicide with Lawrence Campbell, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said said. Lawrence Campbell, 27, shot Officer Melvin Santiago in the head shortly after he and his partner arrived at the 24-hour Walgreens at around 4 a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said. Other officers returned fire at Campbell, killing him. (AP Photo/Office of the Mayor of Jersey City)
A pedestrian stands at a memorial to Lawrence Campbell, who allegedly shot and killed 23-year-old Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago, Monday, July 14, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Campbell was also killed at the scene after police officers returned fire. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Pedestrians stand near a memorial to Lawrence Campbell, who allegedly shot and killed 23-year-old Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago, Monday, July 14, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Campbell was also killed at the scene after police officers returned fire. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Onlookers stand across the street from a memorial to Lawrence Campbell, who allegedly shot and killed 23-year-old Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago, Monday, July 14, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Campbell was also killed at the scene after police officers returned fire. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A Jersey City Police Department cruiser is seen with bullet holes on the windshield at the scene where an officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A person lays on the ground near evidence markers as officials investigate the scene where a Jersey City Police Department officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A person lays on the ground near evidence markers as officials investigate the scene where a Jersey City Police Department officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop addresses the media during a news conference talking about an early morning shooting which lead to a suspect and a Jersey City Police Department officer killed, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Fulop said. The Mayor said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Jersey City Police Chief Robert Cowan, right, talks while standing next to Mayor Steven Fulop during a news conference talking about an early morning shooting which lead to a suspect and a Jersey City Police Department officer killed, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Fulop said. The Mayor said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, center, addresses the media during a news conference talking about an early morning shooting which lead to a suspect and a Jersey City Police Department officer killed, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Fulop said. The Mayor said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A Jersey City Police Department officer stands guard on the perimeter of a crime scene where an officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A pedestrian stands at a memorial to Lawrence Campbell, who allegedly shot and killed 23-year-old Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago, Monday, July 14, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Campbell was also killed at the scene after police officers returned fire. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Officials investigate a Jersey City Police Department cruiser at the scene where an officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A person lays on the ground near evidence markers as officials use a tent while investigating the scene where a Jersey City Police Department officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A Jersey City Police Department cruiser is seen with its back window shattered as officials investigate the scene where a Jersey City Police Department officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A memorial for 23-year-old Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago stands at the Walgreens where he was fatally shot the previous day, Monday, July 14, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Santiago, who joined the force last July and was sworn in December, was fatally shot in the head inside his marked police car as he pulled up to the store. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Investigators pull a sheet over the body of a suspect who allegedly shot a Jersey City Police Department officer responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
A memorial for 23-year-old Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago stands at the Walgreens where he was fatally shot the previous day, Monday, July 14, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Santiago, who joined the force last July and was sworn in December, was fatally shot in the head inside his marked police car as he pulled up to the store. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Pedestrians pass a memorial to Lawrence Campbell, who allegedly shot and killed 23-year-old Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago, Monday, July 14, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Campbell was also killed at the scene after police officers returned fire. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
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By DAVID PORTER

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - The mayor lashed out Monday at residents for memorializing a man who killed a police officer over the weekend.

A temporary memorial was on display in the Jersey City neighborhood where Lawrence Campbell lived. It included candles and balloons and messages from friends of the man who police said ambushed 23-year-old officer Melvin Santiago early Sunday at a drugstore.

Campbell's widow, Angelique Campbell, told News 12 New Jersey she is sorry for Santiago's family but that her husband should have killed more officers if they were planning to kill him.

On Monday, Mayor Steven Fulop said the memorial and her comments aren't representative of the city as a whole.

Mayor: Man Said He Would Be Famous Before Killing Officer

"There are people in every single community who just don't value life and this is highlighted by a situation like this," Fulop told The Associated Press. "There's a lot of reasons for that - some of it is decades of how they perceive police, some it's jobs, some of it's socioeconomics - but at the end of the day we're dealing with it today. When you talk about that situation, yes, it's ignorant, yes it's disgusting, but this represents a lot of the challenges we have."

A temporary memorial to the slain officer, significantly smaller than the one set up for Campbell, outside the Walgreens where he was killed drew mourners on Monday as the store reopened.

"I heard the news this morning and it brought tears to my eyes," truck driver Van Thomas told The Jersey Journal. "I couldn't believe it, I couldn't understand it. This is the type of society we have now with guys whose minds are not right and it's a huge wake-up call for everybody."

Police said they are looking for clues to explain why Campbell, who had prior drug arrests and was released from jail in January, would have committed such a violent act.

Campbell, who didn't try to rob the store, assaulted the Walgreens' armed security guard and snatched his gun, Fulop said. Then, he approached someone and apologized for his conduct inside the store, then said to watch the news later because he was "going to be famous."

Campbell then waited for officers to arrive and shot Santiago with what police believe was the guard's weapon.

Other officers returned fire at Campbell, killing him.

Fulop said Campbell was one of three suspects wanted by police for a prior homicide. Another man being sought in that case, 23-year-old city resident Daniel Wilson, was captured Sunday night, officials said.

Fulop said authorities had been aggressively seeking Wilson for three days.

Santiago had dreamed of being a police officer since he was a boy, seeking to follow in the footsteps of his uncle.

When he accomplished his dream in December and joined the Jersey City force as a rookie officer, he asked to serve in what the city's public safety director describes as its "toughest district." Seven months after he graduated from the police academy, he was dead from a gunshot wound to the head.

___

Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in Jersey City contributed to this report.

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