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Gunfire Erupts On New Jersey Turnpike; One Dead, One Arrested, One Sought

January 18, 1989

WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (AP) _ A man on parole for two bank robberies tried to flee when police on the New Jersey Turnpike stopped the car he was in, but he was shot to death when he grabbed for an officer’s gun, authorities said.

Police found 5 1/2 ounces of cocaine on the man, whose name was being withheld until relatives were notified.

The driver of the car was arrested during the incident Tuesday, and a second passenger was being sought by state and local police on foot and in helicopters, said state police spokesman Capt. Thomas Gallagher.

State Police Trooper Robert K. Henig, 26, pulled the car over for speeding and told one of the passengers to get out and show some identification, Gallagher said.

Henig spotted what he believed to be a bag of marijuana while the man was looking for identification, Gallagher said. The bag later turned out to be cocaine, police said.

The man then pushed Henig down and started to run into a marshy highway median, Gallagher said. Henig caught him and was putting his gun into his holster when the man kicked him, Gallagher said.

″There were a number of shots fired,″ Gallagher said. ″When the weapon was turned toward the trooper, a shot was fired. He then turned the gun on the suspect and fired.″

One of the people in the car had fled when Henig returned.

The driver, Bernard Hicks, 37, of Greensboro, N.C., was charged with speeding and driving with an expired driver’s license, Gallagher said. He was given two tickets and released.

The dead man was tentatively identified as a 46-year-old former North Carolina resident who moved to Hackensack in October, Gallagher said.

He was convicted of two bank robberies in North Carolina in 1976 and later paroled.

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