- Associated Press - Monday, December 22, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Law enforcement officers opened fire during two armed robberies in Essex County that occurred within 18 hours of each other over the weekend.

Acting Prosecutor Carolyn Murray says an off-duty county corrections officer was inside a clothing store in Newark when two suspects tried to rob it on Saturday.

Murray says the officer identified himself and a suspect opened fire. As they exchanged gunfire, a 57-year-old employee was shot in the stomach and is in stable condition.

Police believe one of the suspects was injured.

Meanwhile, Murray says two suspects pistol whipped an employee before robbing a Radio Shack in Belleville on Sunday.

Murray says the suspects rammed a patrol car and an officer opened fire as the suspects fled.

It’s not known if the suspects were wounded.

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