New Jersey

Attempted Murder Charges for Accused Rooftop Shooter in Salem, New Jersey, Standoff

Eric Smith Jr. is accused of shooting at officers trying to arrest him on outstanding warrants.

What to Know

  • A man accused of firing shots from a Salem, New Jersey, rooftop, leading to a standoff, is facing attempted murder charges
  • Eric Smith Jr. was wanted for an outstanding warrant when a U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force tried to arrest him Wednesday.
  • No one was hurt during the shooting and standoff that left parts of Salem locked down.

A man who police say shot at officers who were trying to arrest him in South Jersey is now facing attempted murder charges.

Salem County prosecutors say Eric Smith Jr. also faces aggravated assault and weapons counts stemming from Wednesday's confrontation in Salem. The shooting spurred a standoff that lasted for more than three hours before the 26-year-old Quinton Township man surrendered.

Authorities say a U.S. Marshals Regional Fugitive Task Force was trying to arrest Smith on some warrants, including an allegation that Smith reversed into a police vehicle on Jan. 7, when they arrived at his girlfriend's apartment above an H&R Block location.

As they entered the apartment, Smith left through a bedroom window and went onto a roof where he allegedly shot at the officers.

One officer returned fire, but no one was injured.

"I was a few blocks away and just heard a bunch of shots," one witness, who did not want to be identified, told NBC10. "Eight, nine."

Schools and businesses in Salem were locked down during the standoff.

Hostage negotiators used a bullhorn and also called on Smith's family members to help get him to surrender, investigators said.

"He's a good man," Smith's aunt, Rebecca Holmes, told NBC10. "Good father. Good son. This is not normal for him. This is like shocking for me."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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