NEWARK — A police officer who shot two people fleeing a traffic stop has been  suspended while prosecutors present the case to a grand jury.

The officer said that during a police stop about 11:15 p.m. Jan 28 at Thomas Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, he saw a firearm inside the four-door black Chrysler 300. The driver pulled away before backup arrived and the officer followed.

During the pursuit, the officer opened fired three times before the car stopped.

Driver Greg C. Griffin, 46, and passenger, Andrew Dixon, 34, were shot.

Griffin died later at University Hospital while Dixon remains hospitalized in stable condition. He was charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and possession of a prohibited weapon.

A handgun was found in the vehicle, according to Newark Public Safety Director Anthony F. Ambrose.

Ambrose said Tuesday that he has "concerns about this shooting and will cooperate fully with the Essex County Prosecutor's investigation." The city has turned over all body and dashboard camera recordings.

“Until an investigation by the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office is finalized, I believe it is in the best interest of our community members that the officer be suspended,” Ambrose said.

He did not disclose the identity of the officer except to say he had been on the job for 18 months.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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