Trenton Community Reacts To Shooting That Wounded Officers - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Trenton Community Reacts To Shooting That Wounded Officers

Posted: Updated:
A neighbor talks about Officer Rios. A neighbor talks about Officer Rios.
TRENTON, N.J. -

"It was scary. You just heard bang, bang, bang, bang."

That's how witnesses described the violent confrontation on Hobart Avenue on Thursday morning. The shoot out left two veteran Trenton Police detectives wounded and a suspect dead from gunshot wounds.

"When they got out of the car. The suspect immediately pulled out a gun and began firing at the two officers," said Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph Bocchini at the crime scene.

The gun battle erupted when 15 year veteran Detective James Letts and 30 year veteran Detective Edgar Rios approached domestic violence suspect Eric McNeil at 59 Hobart Avenue after his girlfriend pointed him out to them.

"A police officer never knows what they're going to walk into in a domestic violence situation," Bocchini explained.

"These two officers are excellent officers, and they're in our prayers," added Trenton Police Director Ralph Rivera.  

The two detectives were raced to the hospital and into surgery, Letts suffering from a gun shot to the shoulder, Rios critical from two gunshot wounds to the back and abdomen.  

"I want everyone to pray for our officers. They do a thankless job out here every day," Rivera said. "We ask the public for your prayer. For your support for the family. Because it's greatly appreciated and it's what's helping them to a speedy recovery."

"It just shows the layoffs that happened a couple years back. We need those cops back. We need those officers back," said Janie Barnes who works right around the corner. She refers to the layoff of 109 police officers a couple of years ago.

Neighbors say the suspect had been acting strange for several days now. Police say he shot his girlfriends dog Wednesday night and assaulted her.

"He was very emotional for the last couple weeks," said neighbor Alex Rivera. "He lost his brother too a couple weeks ago."

Eric McNeil's body was removed from the scene just before noon by the Mercer County Medical Examiner. He had just gotten out of prison in May on robbery and weapons charges. He had served for four years.

Rios was the 2007 Officer of the Year in Trenton. He has several relatives on the police force here. Neighbors say he's a very good cop who worked this area for years as a patrolman before he became a detective. Detective Rios also worked in the Homicide Unit.

"Officer Rios. He's a good cop," says Alex Rivera. "Everybody know him in the area, he's very good cop."

George Muschal knows Detective Edgar Rios. As Trenton city council president, today he rushed to the hospital to learn Rios' fate.

"He's fighting for his own life right now," he told the press after getting to the hospital. "He's got some life-threatening problems."

Rios, a 30 year homicide detective, was rushed to the Capital Health Trauma Center around 9:00. Letts is out of surgery and resting, but Rios likely faces a much longer haul.

"Some internal bleeding, they wanted to stop the internal bleeding from the stomach, the pancreas. That has been stabilized; they want him to rest," updated Verlina Reynolds-Jackson of the Trenton City Council.

The trauma center became the gathering point for cops and elected officials, all fearful that the Trenton slashing of cops in the wake of state cutbacks has turned the capital into the wild wild west.

"We lost 109 officers and we're running on skeleton crews going out there, which is creating a problem in the city of Trenton, " says George Muschal, Trenton City Council President.

Rios, who investigates murders, was working a domestic case due to the cuts. Detective Edgar Rios, a one-time cop of the year, has fought crime here for a lifetime. Now he'll fight, just to survive.

"He was a very good officer when he was on street patrol. And he was an excellent detective, couldn't get a better detective. He worked homicides. All these homicides we have in Trenton, he was working these homicides," says Muschal.

Prosecutors tonight are investigating how suspect Erin McNeil got his hands on the .38 caliber revolver that he shot officers with, four months after getting out of prison.

  • Chris O'Connell ReportsMore>>

  • Police: Gay Couple Beaten In Center City

    Police: Gay Couple Beaten In Center City

    Sunday, September 14 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-09-15 02:32:24 GMT
    Investigators say a gay couple was walking in Center City when they were stopped by a group of people and brutally beaten on the corner of 16th and Chancellor. Both of the victims are now recovering from nasty injuries.Friends and witnesses say there is no question the men were targeted because they are gay."They shattered his cheek bones on both sides and his jaw,” said friend of the victims Caryn Kunkle.Caryn describes the injuries to her two dear friends who FOX 29 is not identifying.The c...
    Investigators say a gay couple was walking in Center City when they were stopped by a group of people and brutally beaten on the corner of 16th and Chancellor. Both of the victims are now recovering from nasty injuries.Friends and witnesses say there is no question the men were targeted because they are gay."They shattered his cheek bones on both sides and his jaw,” said friend of the victims Caryn Kunkle.Caryn describes the injuries to her two dear friends who FOX 29 is not identifying.The c...
  • New Video Surfaces Of LOVE Park Ranger Assault

    New Video Surfaces Of LOVE Park Ranger Assault

    Friday, September 12 2014 12:58 AM EDT2014-09-12 04:58:32 GMT
    Brand new video of the park ranger attacked in LOVE Park last month has just surfaced on social media.The new video clip that surfaced on Instagram shows the moments before that brutal beating. About an hour ago, FOX 29's Chris O'Connell watched that video with that park ranger who was attacked.The video of Park Ranger Erron Williams, who is a 7-year city worker, is at times is hard to watch.Police have charged Curtis Tanner,9, from Pottstown with aggravated assault and other crimes.FOX 29 wa...
    Brand new video of the park ranger attacked in LOVE Park last month has just surfaced on social media.The new video clip that surfaced on Instagram shows the moments before that brutal beating. About an hour ago, FOX 29's Chris O'Connell watched that video with that park ranger who was attacked.The video of Park Ranger Erron Williams, who is a 7-year city worker, is at times is hard to watch.Police have charged Curtis Tanner,9, from Pottstown with aggravated assault and other crimes.FOX 29 wa...
  • Woman Claims Alleged Brutality At Harrah's Casino

    Woman Claims Alleged Brutality At Harrah's Casino

    Wednesday, September 10 2014 6:39 PM EDT2014-09-10 22:39:12 GMT
    A new federal lawsuit accuses Harrah's Casino of a pattern of excessive force by security guards,A New Jersey woman says she was brutally beaten by security guards at Harrah's in Atlantic City two years ago. She claims it was all caught on camera.Amy Walsh's suit is the latest in a pattern of similar claims filed against the security team at Harrah's.Walsh, a 26 year old nurse, says a minor seating issue with a group of women became a major problem."Said this table is only for 5. We told them...
    A new federal lawsuit accuses Harrah's Casino of a pattern of excessive force by security guards,A New Jersey woman says she was brutally beaten by security guards at Harrah's in Atlantic City two years ago. She claims it was all caught on camera.Amy Walsh's suit is the latest in a pattern of similar claims filed against the security team at Harrah's.Walsh, a 26 year old nurse, says a minor seating issue with a group of women became a major problem."Said this table is only for 5. We told them...
  • Jeff Cole ReportsMore>>

  • Trump casinos file Chapter 11; Taj threatened

    Trump casinos file Chapter 11; Taj threatened

    Trump Entertainment Resorts has become the latest Atlantic City casino owner to file for bankruptcy protection.
    Trump Entertainment Resorts has filed for bankruptcy and threatened to close the Taj Mahal Casino resort in November if it can't get concessions from its unions.
  • FOX 29 Investigates: Motorist's Police Brutality Claim

    FOX 29 Investigates: Motorist's Police Brutality Claim

    Monday, September 8 2014 12:14 PM EDT2014-09-08 16:14:38 GMT

    A city man says he was the victim of police brutality during a traffic stop. But police tell a far different story. There is video, and FOX 29 Investigates' Jeff Cole has it.

    A city man says he was the victim of police brutality during a traffic stop. But police tell a far different story. There is video, and FOX 29 Investigates' Jeff Cole has it.

  • FOX 29 Investigates: Former Scout Leader Accused of Abuse

    FOX 29 Investigates: Former Scout Leader Accused of Abuse

    Friday, July 25 2014 1:36 AM EDT2014-07-25 05:36:56 GMT
    A new lawsuit filed against the Boy Scouts and a former scoutmaster by a Chester County mother has the Scouts nationally explaining its actions in the case. Patsy Evasew claims the former scout leader sexually abused her son and it eventually led to his demise.The images of Thomas Evasew's sad, short life hang on the wall of his folks' Chester County home. "I feel when I touch it, I'm touching him. I miss him so every day. There's not a day that goes by,” says Patsy Evasew. She says she misse...
    A new lawsuit filed against the Boy Scouts and a former scoutmaster by a Chester County mother has the Scouts nationally explaining its actions in the case. Patsy Evasew claims the former scout leader sexually abused her son and it eventually led to his demise.The images of Thomas Evasew's sad, short life hang on the wall of his folks' Chester County home. "I feel when I touch it, I'm touching him. I miss him so every day. There's not a day that goes by,” says Patsy Evasew. She says she misse...
  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Geno's Holds Fundraiser For Paralyzed Man

    Geno's Holds Fundraiser For Paralyzed Man

    Sunday, September 14 2014 11:25 PM EDT2014-09-15 03:25:33 GMT
    A  man on the way to his job in 2012 was involved in an automobile accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. The accident changed his life forever, but he says that he plans on overcoming the challenges that he now faces.
    A  man on the way to his job in 2012 was involved in an automobile accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. The accident changed his life forever, but he says that he plans on overcoming the challenges that he now faces.
  • Police: Gay Couple Beaten In Center City

    Police: Gay Couple Beaten In Center City

    Sunday, September 14 2014 10:32 PM EDT2014-09-15 02:32:24 GMT
    Investigators say a gay couple was walking in Center City when they were stopped by a group of people and brutally beaten on the corner of 16th and Chancellor. Both of the victims are now recovering from nasty injuries.Friends and witnesses say there is no question the men were targeted because they are gay."They shattered his cheek bones on both sides and his jaw,” said friend of the victims Caryn Kunkle.Caryn describes the injuries to her two dear friends who FOX 29 is not identifying.The c...
    Investigators say a gay couple was walking in Center City when they were stopped by a group of people and brutally beaten on the corner of 16th and Chancellor. Both of the victims are now recovering from nasty injuries.Friends and witnesses say there is no question the men were targeted because they are gay."They shattered his cheek bones on both sides and his jaw,” said friend of the victims Caryn Kunkle.Caryn describes the injuries to her two dear friends who FOX 29 is not identifying.The c...
  • Authorities Continue To Investigate State Police Barracks Shooting

    Authorities Continue To Investigate State Police Barracks Shooting

    Sunday, September 14 2014 10:14 PM EDT2014-09-15 02:14:19 GMT

    State police say one trooper is dead and another is injured after a shooting at a state police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania. 

    State police say one trooper is dead and another is injured after a shooting at a state police barracks in northeastern Pennsylvania. 

Powered by WorldNow

KTBC FOX 7
119 East 10th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Phone: (512) 476-7777
Fax: (512) 495-7001

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices