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Sheriff’s Officers Arrest Gunman and Recover Weapon And Drugs Following Shooting Near Irvington Park

Newark- A gunman was arrested by Sheriff’s Officers after a brief chase, this following a drive-by shooting near the entrance to Irvington Park on Tuesday evening.

Sheriff Armando Fontoura stated that officers from his department’s Patrol Division were operating in the area of Olson Place and Lyons Avenue in Irvington when they observed a black Dodge Charger and silver Nissan Altima engaged in a high-speed chase going westbound on Olson Place near the entrance to Irvington Park.

“Shortly after our officers observed the high-speed chase, they witnessed shots being fired from the sunroof of the silver Nissan Altima,” Sheriff Fontoura said. “In a scene that seemed directly out of the Old West, the Altima pulled up directly behind the Charger before they began to fire several shots from the top window of the vehicle.”

Once the shots were fired, the Officers immediately turned on their emergency lights and sirens in order to pursue the vehicles. The Charger traveled north on Grove Street and then westbound on May Street before officers lost sight of the vehicle. However, the officers were able to keep up with the Altima, which traveled north on Grove Street.

“Our officers tailed the Altima out of the park and were able to close the gap between the vehicle. The Altima attempted to lose our officers by making a sharp turn on to Nye Avenue, but the driver lost control of the vehicle and crashed into an iron fence,” said the Sheriff.

Following the crash, the two suspects exited the driver’s side door of the Altima and began running north on Grove Street. The first suspect was an unidentified male, while the second suspect was later identified as Shyiem Bennett, 26, of Newark.

“Our officers instantly exited their patrol cars and began to follow the suspects on foot, while proceeding to contact our command post to request additional units to help canvass the area,” Fontoura said. “A short time later, several units from our patrol division observed Bennett walking south on 21st Street. Our officers approached Bennett, at which time he surrendered, put his hands up, and dropped down to the ground.”

Once the officers had arrested Bennett, they returned to the Nissan Altima to perform a search of the vehicle. The investigation of the Altima yielded positive results as the officers recovered a Beretta Model “AXP” .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun loaded with four hollow-point bullets. Additionally, six bullet casings were recovered from the location of the shooting.

Bennett was placed under arrest and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, illegal possession of a firearm, resisting arrest, and conspiracy. In addition to those charges, Bennett was found to be in possession of 25 decks of heroin at the time of his arrest and was charged with illegal possession of a dangerous substance.

Bennett was transported to Essex County Correctional Facility, where he will await a hearing on his charges.

Sheriff Fontoura noted that his officers were still investigating the whereabouts of the unidentified driver of the Nissan Altima.