- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

EAST ORANGE, N.J. (AP) - A northern New Jersey police officer was injured when a suspect fired a shot that was blocked by the officer’s bullet-proof vest.

Authorities say the shooting occurred around 11:20 a.m. Wednesday when East Orange Sgt. Mike Williams attempted to stop 29-year-old city resident Robert O’Neil, who was riding a bicycle. The officer returned fire and O’Neil fled the scene, but Williams used his radio to alert other officers and O’Neil was soon captured.

A handgun apparently used in the shooting was recovered nearby.

Williams was shot in the stomach area and although the vest blocked the bullet, he was injured by its impact. Williams was treated at a hospital and later released.

O’Neil is charged with attempted murder and various weapons offenses. It was not known Wednesday afternoon if he had retained an attorney.



Authorities say Williams initially stopped O’Neill for a routine “quality of life” violation, but did not disclose further details on the incident. The shooting will be reviewed by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, which is standard procedure in all police-involved shootings

Williams is a 12-year veteran of the force. Officials said he had recently been voted “Officer of the Month” by the East Orange department’s executive committee.

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