JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Family and friends say Melvin Santiago had dreamed of being a police officer since he was a boy, seeking to follow in his uncle's footsteps.
When Santiago accomplished his dream last December and joined the Jersey City force as a rookie officer, he asked to serve in the city's toughest district. Seven months after he graduated from the academy, the 23-year-old was dead after a gunman shot him in the head.
Santiago died early Sunday, after he responded to a report of a robbery at a 24-hour drugstore.
The gunman, Lawrence Campbell, never tried to rob the store. Instead, he told a witness to watch the news because he was "going to be famous."
Campbell waited for officers to arrive and shot Santiago. Officers returned fire at Campbell, killing him.