Suspect takes own life in Hillside

A man arrested for a suspected attempted carjacking in a neighboring town used an officer’s service weapon to take his own life at Hillside Police Department headquarters Friday afternoon, acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan announced Saturday.

The deceased has been identified as 41-year-old Jermaine Covington of Baltimore, Maryland. 

According to the results of a preliminary investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office, Covington left the scene of a motor vehicle accident in Union Township at approximately 1 p.m. Friday, with a brief police vehicular pursuit that followed being cut short due to safety concerns.

Later that afternoon, Union Township police again spotted Covington’s vehicle, and after attempting to run from the car and carjack a different vehicle, he was apprehended by members of the Hillside Police Department.

At approximately 4:45 p.m. Friday, while handcuffed to a bar in an area designated for processing suspects at Hillside Police Department headquarters, Covington grabbed a firearm from a passing officer’s holster and fatally shot himself. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The circumstances of this incident remain under investigation.