Fort Lee, NJ News

Fort Lee cop is shot at in highway chase, two suspects apprehended

Panama White and Lamar Jenkins
Panama White; Lamar Jenkins
FORT LEE, NJ - A Fort Lee police officer was shot at last night, by suspects fleeing from law enforcement officers in a car chase that began in Newark, authorities say.

Panama G. White, 31, and Lamar Jenkins, 22, both of Newark, have each been charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, and resisting arrest. Jenkins was charged with the additional offense of eluding a law enforcement officer.

At around 10:50 p.m. last night, Fort Lee Police Department units were alerted that Newark Police were pursuing a red Pontiac Grand Am, occupied by approximately five men, in response to a call about shots being fired on Oxford Avenue in Newark. Upon responding to the area, Newark police reportedly observed the Grand Am flee the scene. After they attempted to stop the car, authorities say it sped away, leading police on a pursuit from Newark onto the New Jersey Turnpike, where other law enforcement agencies joined in the highway chase.

According to authorities, the car was heading east on Route 80/95, toward the lower level approach of the George Washington Bridge, as several Fort Lee Police units stationed themselves near the bridge approach. Upon seeing the units, the driver reportedly made a U-turn on 80/95 and proceeded eastbound in the westbound traffic lanes, then drove on the dirt median in an attempt to exit the highway.

Authorities say that at that point, the front passenger of the Pontiac fired a handgun out the window toward a Fort Lee police officer, who returned fire hitting the rear of the car. The Grand Am then drove against the flow of traffic southbound in the northbound lanes of Route 1&9, with the car's occupants finally abandoning it on Ponsi Street in Fort Lee, authorities say. A .357 caliber revolver was recovered in the vehicle.

White and Jenkins are currently being held at the Bergen County Jail in lieu of $500,000.00 bail each, with no 10% option. They are scheduled to appear on Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. before Judge Harry Carroll in Hackensack. The investigation is ongoing.