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Paterson officer shoots, kills carjacking suspect

April 30, 2011 6:59:42 PM PDT
A traffic stop in Paterson turned deadly early Wednesday as a police officer shot and killed a suspected carjacker.

The Paterson officer spotted the vehicle at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. The 2006 Nissan Altima had been stolen from a parking lot at Passaic Community College.

According to investigators, the suspect leaned into the car through an open passenger window asking for money.

When the victim refused, police say the suspect began physically assaulting him by punching him repeatedly in the face. The victim tried to close the window, but the suspect got inside the car and kept punching him. The victim eventually got out of the car, and the suspect climbed into the driver's seat and sped away.

Six hours later, a 10-year veteran police officer spotted the vehicle and pulled it over Governor Street and East 18th Street in Paterson. During the traffic stop, 38-year-old Lewis Baker of Paterson allegedly put the vehicle back into gear as the officer approached the passenger side window.

Fearing the car was about to run him over, he fired several shots. Baker was pronounced dead at the scene.

The officer's name has not been released. He was not hurt.

The carjacking victim suffered facial injuries. His name has also not been released.

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