NEWARK — A 15-year-old male was hit by gunfire several times in a shooting involving city police Tuesday morning, the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office and Newark police confirmed.

The shooting occurred when an officer tried to inspect a Dodge Charger behind a home on Lyons Avenue, according to authorities.

A preliminary investigation found the car had been reported as suspicious.

As the officer approached, the driver allegedly began to "use the car as a weapon" and the situation quickly escalated. That's when the officer opened fire, according to prosecutors. RLS Metro first reported shots rang out shortly around 7:30 a.m.

The male teen suffered multiple gunshot wounds and underwent surgery, according to Newark police.

Prosecutors said he was in stable condition at University Hospital Tuesday afternoon.

A second juvenile, 17, was also in the vehicle. He was uninjured and remained in custody.

The Essex County Prosecutor's Office did not immediately say what charges the second suspect faces.

A total of four Newark Police officers were at the scene.

Police Director Brian O'Hara told CBS2 the vehicle was stolen from Asbury Park Monday. Vehicle thefts have skyrocketed in New Jersey over the past two years.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Platkin revealed earlier this month vehicle thefts have spiked 31% so far this year. That's on top of a 22% increase in 2021 from the year before.

O'Hara added officers at the scene went to check on the juvenile immediately after the shooting.

"It sounds like their priority was immediately to help ensure that the suspect lived and provided him aid," O'Hara said.

The investigation, handled by the Professional Standards Bureau of the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office, was active and ongoing Tuesday evening.

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