Christie orders flags lowered for slain officer

Christie orders flags lowered for slain officer

Posted: Updated:
TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Gov. Chris Christie has ordered flags at state office buildings to be flown at half-staff Wednesday for a slain Jersey City police officer.

Officer Melvin Santiago was killed in a shootout early Sunday while responding to a report of an armed robbery at a 24-hour drug store.

The 23-year-old was shot by Jersey City resident Lawrence Campbell, who had stolen a security guard's gun and waited for officers to arrive.

Other officers returned fire, killing Campbell. Police say Campbell ambushed Santiago outside of the store.

The Jersey City resident reportedly told a witness before he shot Officer Santiago to watch the news because he was "going to be famous."

Campbell’s widow told New 12 New Jersey that her husband should have gunned down more officers if they were planning on killing him.

Santiago had been on the force for less than a year but had wanted to be a police officer since he was in his teens.

Christie called him a hero and a "true role model."

On his Facebook page Mayor Steven Fulop said a makeshift memorial for Lawrence Campbell, 27, did not reflect the sentiment of the city at large:

"It has been a tough week for the city on many fronts and many lessons learned here as we reflect. That said with this instance in particular we aren't going to let a small group of residents act like they publicly portray the sentiment of the city at large. Regardless of differing sentiments we had this removed," said Fulop.

The memorial on Orient Ave. was erected in the hours after the deadly shooting on Sunday. It included dozens of candles and empty liquor bottles along with two, white T-shirts attached to a wall with condolence messages written on them.

A wake for Officer Santiago is set for Thursday at 1 p.m. at McLaughlin Funeral Home. A funeral will be held Friday at 11 a.m. at St. Aloysius Church.

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