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Police officer slain by killer who sought fame

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) - Melvin Santiago had dreamed of being a police officer since he was a boy, seeking to follow in the footsteps of his uncle.

When Santiago 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, the 23-year-old was dead after a gunman shot him in the head.

Santiago died early Sunday, shortly after he and other officers responded to a report of an armed robbery at a 24-hour drugstore.

The gunman, 27-year-old city resident Lawrence Campbell, never tried to rob the store, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said. He assaulted the store's 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.

"Melvin was an officer who represented everything one would want to see in a police officer," Fulop said. "I know the entire city's thoughts and prayers are with the Santiago family during this difficult time and we mourn together."

Santiago's longtime friend Gary Nahrwold said it was about a decade ago that his pal told him he wanted to become a police officer.

Nahrwold, 24, also hopes to join the force and said he won't be discouraged by Santiago's slaying. If he joins a police department, he will serve in Melvin's memory and the memory of others killed in the line of duty.

"It just gives me more purpose to do it," he said. "I'm not going to be deterred by some senseless crimes."

Jersey City Police Killing Was Trap Planned By Gunman

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BroPower July 14 2014 at 3:24 PM

12% of America's population are black.
77% of gun crimes committed by blacks
It's not the gun - it's the person...
The black culture of killing must stop.
How can that culture get 'changed'.?

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39 replies
Rob & Kathy July 14 2014 at 3:08 PM

Wait, N.J. has strict gun control laws. You mean the criminal ignored them?

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18 replies
ch3n02junkie July 14 2014 at 3:30 PM

the killer was black....don't expect too much more of a write up on this story.
if he was white the true racists would be up in arms complaining about brutality, excessive force, racism, etc. i'm actually surprised the liberal media even posted his picture. if he was white they would give out his address and post his entire family tree for the world to see.

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10 replies
Drillsgt1843 July 14 2014 at 3:18 PM

Low life savage...how these people just kill for no reason is incomprehensible.

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9 replies
FRANK July 14 2014 at 4:24 PM

Lawrence Campbell is a piece of **** and his wife is an idiot for what she said on the news . yes Mrs. Campbell your dead husband is a scum bag and it is ashamed he was not shot and killed sooner . A lopw life piece of human trash is what he was ..Rest in peace Police Officer Melvin Santiago and may God Bless your family and friends .As for the perp rot in hell Lawrence Campbell you are now where you belong I hope you burn in hell for years !!!!

Flag Reply +52 rate up
7 replies
Nikki July 14 2014 at 3:58 PM

I'm glad they took this savage out. His wife is just as bad saying he should have taken more with him. She should be arrested.

Flag Reply +41 rate up
6 replies
buddwhyzr July 14 2014 at 3:13 PM

Hope they find out where they bury that suicidal prick. The fame he receives will be that his grave will become a septic tank.

Flag Reply +39 rate up
7 replies
jpetroski6 July 14 2014 at 3:35 PM

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

Flag Reply +29 rate up
Rosie July 14 2014 at 3:35 PM

If he did this to be famous, as others have done, why do the news media become complicit in the act by publishing his name, thereby making him famous?

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2 replies
whmere Rosie July 14 2014 at 5:02 PM

I doubt this was the fame he was expecting. Good ridence to bad rubbish.

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hobokenlou Rosie July 14 2014 at 7:00 PM

correct , why interview any relative of the murderer.

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cherylhaass July 14 2014 at 4:16 PM

I am GLAD that the partner SHOT that worthless sack of ---- dead. Saved the taxpayers some money. Creep got his 15 minutes of fame, though. Now the low-lifes will idolize him, emulate him, and insist that he was "murdered" by "the man". What crap.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
1 reply
Don cherylhaass July 14 2014 at 4:20 PM

poor cheryihaass. feelies got hurt

Flag Reply 0 rate up
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