Hillside, NJ – A man who was arrested for carjacking used an officer’s gun to kill himself inside the police station on Friday.
A preliminary investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office revealed that 41-year-old Jermaine Covington had fled the scene of a car wreck in Union Township earlier in the day, according to NJ Advance Media.
Police said the crash happened at about 1 p.m. on June 22, and resulted in a brief vehicle pursuit that was stopped by police shortly after it began due to safety concerns, the Courier News reported.
Later that same afternoon, Union Township police spotted Covington’s vehicle, according to a release from Union County Prosecutor Michael Monahan.
Monahan said Covington attempted to evade police officers by running away from his car, and trying to steal a different car.
The Baltimore, Maryland man was arrested by officers from the Hillside Police Department, and taken in for processing, according to the prosecutor’s statement.
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Police said Covington was in custody at about 4:45 pm, and handcuffed to a bar in the police processing area, when he grabbed a passing officer’s duty weapon.
He was able to yank the firearm out of the officer’s holster, and then proceeded to shoot himself with it, NJ Advance Media reported.
Covington was pronounced dead at the scene, according to NJ Advance media.
Police would not say whether the incident was captured on the surveillance video in the processing area, or whether there were any witnesses.
A spokesman for the prosecutor’s office refused clarify in what manner the man was handcuffed when he shot himself, WOBM reported.
The official statement also did not provide any information about whether the officer had struggled with Covington for possession of the weapon, according to WOBM.
The Union County Prosecutor’s Office has said their investigation into Covington’s death in ongoing.