The Union County Prosecutor’s Office
32 Rahway Avenue   Elizabeth, NJ 07202
Theodore J. Romankow

February 11, 2010

Contact: John Holl
(908) 527-4621

Update on Elizabeth Police involved shooting


The Union County Prosecutor’s Office continues to investigate a police involved shooting in Elizabeth that left one suspect dead and another injured, said Prosecutor Theodore J. Romankow.
Police were called to the 800 block of Adams Avenue around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday for a report of men breaking into cars, said Romankow. When Elizabeth police officers arrived at the scene they encountered at least two suspects inside a stolen car.
The preliminary investigation thus far indicates that the vehicle made several attempts to elude the police officers’ attempt to stop them and ignored several commands to turn the car off. The vehicle crashed into a responding police car and into other vehicles and mounted the sidewalk before suddenly accelerating in reverse in the direction of officers who were on foot, approaching the vehicle.   
At that point several weapons were discharged.
One suspect, Tahir Adams DOB: 6/27/1987 of Irvington was pronounced dead at the scene.
The driver of the vehicle, Erick Johns DOB: 8/28/1987 of Newark was injured in the incident and transported to University Hospital where he underwent surgery and is recovering.
Johns is currently charged with aggravated assault, eluding and burglary, said Romankow.
Authorities had trouble identifying both suspects because neither was carrying identification at the time of the incident and state offices that could assist in identification were closed because of the recent blizzard.
An off-duty Newark Police Officer who first called police to report the vehicle break-ins suffered an apparent gunshot wound to the leg. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment and released a short time later. It appears that the officer, Jobani Dumeng, 27, was the victim of friendly fire.
“This off duty officer was being a good Samaritan, calling the local police to report a crime in progress,” said Romankow. “I, along with everyone else, am grateful that he was not seriously injured. His return to service for the Newark Police Department will be a huge asset to the community.”
At this point, detectives continue to interview all of the parties involved to get a better understanding of what transpired, said Romankow.
This remains an active investigation and additional information will be released when it becomes available.

These criminal charges are mere accusations.
The defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.