TUCKERTON BOROUGH, N.J. (CBS) — Police say a man was taken into custody after he opened fire on a Tuckerton police officer during a traffic stop on Thursday morning. A manhunt for 29-year-old Miguel Angel Villegas followed throughout the day.
Villegas, of New Haven, Connecticut, was taken into custody without incident at Penn Station in New York City shortly after 8 p.m. by the New York Police Department.
Authorities say around 10:20 a.m., an officer tried to pull over a man near Route 9 and North Green Lane and ended up exchanging gunfire.
Police say the officer was not hurt but the shooter ran away in the area of North Green and 3rd Avenue.
“Villegas will be charged with Attempted Murder, Kidnapping, Unlawful Possession of a Weapon, and Possession of a Handgun for an Unlawful Purpose,” Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley Billhimer said. “It is my understanding that Villegas is wanted out of Connecticut. We will be seeking extradition from New York to bring him back here to Ocean County to face these charges,” Prosecutor Billhimer added.
Schools in Tuckerton and Little Egg Harbor Township were placed on lockdown for several hours as SWAT and numerous police agencies searched for the suspect.
Shirley Leek says she got a call from a relative with ties to the police department.
“Stay in your house and keep the door locked and she told me what was going on,” Leek said.
Eyewitness Brian Overton said it was “scary” seeing the gun exchange between the officer and the suspect.
“The policeman said to the driver, ‘Put your hands on the hood of the car.’ He said it three times and then I heard gunshots, but I was behind a pickup truck,” Overton said. “I didn’t see it but I heard it, so I dropped to the ground at that point and I heard the gunshots come from the direction of 3rd Avenue. And then I saw the policeman return gunshots.”
CBS3’s Cleve Bryan contributed to this report.