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Mayor: Cop killer said he was ‘going to be famous’

  • A person lays on the ground near evidence markers as officials investigate the scene where a Jersey City Police Department officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J.  Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call  at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    A person lays on the ground near evidence markers as officials investigate the scene where a Jersey City Police Department officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • A person lays on the ground near evidence markers as officials use a tent while investigating the scene where a Jersey City Police Department officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call  at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    A person lays on the ground near evidence markers as officials use a tent while investigating the scene where a Jersey City Police Department officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • A Jersey City Police Department cruiser is seen with its back window shattered as officials investigate the scene where a Jersey City Police Department officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J.  Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call  at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    A Jersey City Police Department cruiser is seen with its back window shattered as officials investigate the scene where a Jersey City Police Department officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • This 2013 Jersey City Police Department photo provided by the Office of the Mayor of Jersey City shows Daniel Wilson.  Police are also searching for Wilson, who they believe was involved in a previous homicide with Lawrence Campbell, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said said.  Lawrence Campbell, 27, shot Officer Melvin Santiago in the head shortly after he and his partner arrived at the 24-hour Walgreens at around 4 a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said. Other officers returned fire at Campbell, killing him.  (AP Photo/Office of the Mayor of Jersey City)

    This 2013 Jersey City Police Department photo provided by the Office of the Mayor of Jersey City shows Daniel Wilson. Police are also searching for Wilson, who they believe was involved in a previous homicide with Lawrence Campbell, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said said. Lawrence Campbell, 27, shot Officer Melvin Santiago in the head shortly after he and his partner arrived at the 24-hour Walgreens at around 4 a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said. Other officers returned fire at Campbell, killing him. (AP Photo/Office of the Mayor of Jersey City)

  • Investigators pull a sheet over the body of a suspect who allegedly shot a Jersey City Police Department officer responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J.  Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call  at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    Investigators pull a sheet over the body of a suspect who allegedly shot a Jersey City Police Department officer responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • A Jersey City Police Department officer stands guard on the perimeter of a crime scene where an officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J.  Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call  at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    A Jersey City Police Department officer stands guard on the perimeter of a crime scene where an officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Officials investigate a Jersey City Police Department cruiser at the scene where an officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J.  Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call  at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    Officials investigate a Jersey City Police Department cruiser at the scene where an officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • A Jersey City Police Department cruiser is seen with bullet holes on the windshield at the scene where an officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J.  Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call  at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    A Jersey City Police Department cruiser is seen with bullet holes on the windshield at the scene where an officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, center, addresses the media during a news conference talking about an early morning shooting which lead to a suspect and a Jersey City Police Department officer killed, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Fulop said. The Mayor said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, center, addresses the media during a news conference talking about an early morning shooting which lead to a suspect and a Jersey City Police Department officer killed, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Fulop said. The Mayor said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop addresses the media during a news conference talking about an early morning shooting which lead to a suspect and a Jersey City Police Department officer killed, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Fulop said. The Mayor said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop addresses the media during a news conference talking about an early morning shooting which lead to a suspect and a Jersey City Police Department officer killed, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Fulop said. The Mayor said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • Jersey City Police Chief Robert Cowan, right, talks while standing next to Mayor Steven Fulop during a news conference talking about an early morning shooting which lead to a suspect and a Jersey City Police Department officer killed, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Fulop said. The Mayor said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    Jersey City Police Chief Robert Cowan, right, talks while standing next to Mayor Steven Fulop during a news conference talking about an early morning shooting which lead to a suspect and a Jersey City Police Department officer killed, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Fulop said. The Mayor said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • This photo provided by the Jersey City Mayor's office shows Officer Melvin Santiago.  Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at a Walgreens Pharmacy at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop says Santiago was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center. No other details about the officer were immediately released.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Jersey City Mayor's office)

    This photo provided by the Jersey City Mayor's office shows Officer Melvin Santiago. Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at a Walgreens Pharmacy at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop says Santiago was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center. No other details about the officer were immediately released. Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Jersey City Mayor's office)

  • A person lays on the ground near evidence markers as officials investigate the scene where a Jersey City Police Department officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J.  Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call  at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • A person lays on the ground near evidence markers as officials use a tent while investigating the scene where a Jersey City Police Department officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call  at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • A Jersey City Police Department cruiser is seen with its back window shattered as officials investigate the scene where a Jersey City Police Department officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J.  Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call  at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • This 2013 Jersey City Police Department photo provided by the Office of the Mayor of Jersey City shows Daniel Wilson.  Police are also searching for Wilson, who they believe was involved in a previous homicide with Lawrence Campbell, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said said.  Lawrence Campbell, 27, shot Officer Melvin Santiago in the head shortly after he and his partner arrived at the 24-hour Walgreens at around 4 a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said. Other officers returned fire at Campbell, killing him.  (AP Photo/Office of the Mayor of Jersey City)
  • Investigators pull a sheet over the body of a suspect who allegedly shot a Jersey City Police Department officer responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J.  Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call  at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • A Jersey City Police Department officer stands guard on the perimeter of a crime scene where an officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J.  Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call  at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified.(AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • Officials investigate a Jersey City Police Department cruiser at the scene where an officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J.  Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call  at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • A Jersey City Police Department cruiser is seen with bullet holes on the windshield at the scene where an officer was shot and killed while responding to a call at a 24-hour pharmacy, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J.  Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call  at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, center, addresses the media during a news conference talking about an early morning shooting which lead to a suspect and a Jersey City Police Department officer killed, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Fulop said. The Mayor said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop addresses the media during a news conference talking about an early morning shooting which lead to a suspect and a Jersey City Police Department officer killed, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Fulop said. The Mayor said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • Jersey City Police Chief Robert Cowan, right, talks while standing next to Mayor Steven Fulop during a news conference talking about an early morning shooting which lead to a suspect and a Jersey City Police Department officer killed, Sunday, July 13, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Melvin Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., Fulop said. The Mayor said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  • This photo provided by the Jersey City Mayor's office shows Officer Melvin Santiago.  Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at a Walgreens Pharmacy at about 4.a.m., Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement. Fulop says Santiago was pronounced dead at Jersey City Medical Center. No other details about the officer were immediately released.  Fulop said officers responding to the robbery call shot and killed the man who shot Santiago. He was not immediately identified. (AP Photo/Jersey City Mayor's office)

A gunman who killed a rookie officer responding to a report of an armed robbery at a drugstore early yesterday never tried to rob the store and instead lay in wait for the police, telling a witness to watch the news because he was “going to be famous,” authorities said.

Lawrence Campbell shot Officer Melvin Santiago in the head shortly after he and his partner arrived at the 24-hour Walgreens about 4 a.m., Jersey City, N.J., Mayor Steven Fulop said. Other officers returned fire at Campbell, killing him.

Campbell, 27, of Jersey City, was one of three suspects wanted by the police for a prior homicide, Fulop said.

Fulop said Campbell was carrying a knife when he walked into Walgreens and asked for directions to the greeting card aisle. He assaulted an armed security guard at the store and snatched his gun, Fulop said.

Fulop said Campbell approached a witness and apologized for his conduct, then said to watch the news later because he was “going to be famous,” then waited for officers to arrive and shot Santiago with what the police believe was the guard’s weapon.

“Today was a horrible day for Jersey City,” Fulop said.

Dozens of officers stood single file at the entrance of the hospital and saluted as Santiago’s flag-draped body was carried into an ambulance. A handful of younger officers consoled one another as they walked away. Santiago, 23, graduated from the police academy in December.

Fulop was there when Santiago’s body arrived at the hospital. As Santiago’s mother identified the body, Fulop said, she “just keep repeating the badge number and saying that it’s not possible.”

Santiago is the first Jersey City officer killed in the line of duty since Detective Marc DiNardo died in July 2009 during a raid on an apartment while searching for suspects in a robbery.

“It is a tragic situation when any officer is killed in the line of duty,” Fulop said. “Melvin was an officer who represented everything one would want to see in a police officer. I know the entire city’s thoughts and prayers are with the Santiago family during this difficult time and we mourn together.”

Jean Belviso, who has been delivering newspapers for 10 years, was driving through the Walgreens parking lot when she said saw a man wearing burgundy sweatpants and a baseball cap walk out of the store. A police cruiser pulled up in front of Walgreens, and the suspect began shooting, the 61-year-old Belviso said.

“We thought he was running, coming toward us,” said Belviso, who was riding along with a friend. “He kept on shooting.”

Bullets flew through the cruiser’s windshield, 13 in all. The suspect was shot multiple times, and officers slapped handcuffs on him, Belviso said.

Campbell’s body remained on the ground next to the bullet-riddled cruiser for more than five hours after the shooting before it was placed in a coroner’s van and taken away.

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