Ex-Convict Who Shot 2 Detectives Was Out For 10 Weeks, Cops Say - KMSP-TV

Ex-Convict Who Shot 2 Detectives Was Out For 10 Weeks, Cops Say

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TRENTON, N.J. -

Two Trenton police detectives shot in the line of duty continue to recover this morning, but one of them remains in critical condition.

Authorities say they were ambushed during a domestic violence investigation after an incident that began early Thursday morning on Hobart Avenue.

According to prosecutors, 23-year-old Eric McNeil beat up his ex-girlfriend and then stabbed her puppy to death.

The victim was taken out of the house. When police and the victim returned to the scene, McNeil walked out of the home and opened fire on both officers.

Two shots hit 53-year-old Detective Edgar Rios in the torso and stomach.

One bullet hit 46-year-old Detective James Letts in the shoulder.

"The officers were outside of the car were both struck. One of the officers was able to return fire and killed the suspect," Mercer County Prosecutor Joseph Bocchini said.

Rios is still in critical condition, while Letts is stable and expected to get out of the hospital in the next couple days.

McNeil was pronounced dead at the scene.

He had just been released from prison back in May after serving four years for robbery and gun charges.

On the same day, and just hours before the tragic officers shooting, the state rolled out a new initiative to help the city of Trenton fight rising gun violence.

The acting attorney general says the two-pronged plan aims to put more cops on the street and go after gang members and drug dealers who carry guns in public.

State troopers have also been brought in to patrol the streets.

This is the fourth time in Trenton's history that state police are being deployed into the city.

So far this year, there have been 29 murders in Trenton. That's already more than the 24 they had last year and is quickly approaching the city's record of 31 killings in 2005.

FOX 29's Steve Keeley is reporting live from outside Trenton's Capital Health Regional Medical Center, where both of those officers are being treated.

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