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Report: Jersey City police face gang threats after shootings

Lawrence Campbell is seen in this undated photo provided by the New Jersey Department of Corrections. Campbell allegedly shot Jersey City police officer Melvin Santiago July 13, 2014. Campbell was then killed by police gunfire.

AP Photo/New Jersey Department of Corrections

JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- There are serious threats against police officers in northern New Jersey from gang members who want to retaliate for a deadly shooting at an all-night Walgreens drugstore Sunday morning, CBS New York station WCBS-TV reports.

Sources told WCBS-TV that Jersey City police have stepped up patrols following two police-involved shootings this week.

A man shot and killed police officer Melvin Santiago Sunday. The police said the suspect, Lawrence Campbell, 27, was then shot and killed by officers.

Campbell ambushed Santiago, 23, when he and his partner responded to a call at the Walgreens at around 4 a.m. Sunday, police said. Campbell shot Santiago with a gun he had snatched from a security guard he assaulted, police said.

Due to the threats, all officers must patrol in pairs and the department has stepped up security for Santiago's wake and funeral, which is scheduled for Friday at St. Aloysius Catholic Church.

New Jersey State Police and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have also warned their officers who work in Jersey City, which is across the Hudson River from New York City.

On Tuesday, Jersey City removed a memorial for Campbell in the neighborhood where he lived. The memorial included candles, balloons and empty liquor bottles. A pair of white T-shirts were taped to a red brick wall with handwritten messages on them including "thug in peace" and "see you on the other side."

"I don't think that a few residents are going to express the sentiment of a city like Jersey City, and I'm not going to have it. So we had it taken down last night," Mayor Steven Fulop told CBS New York station WINS-AM. Fulop previously said the memorial showed "ignorance" and was "disgusting."

The memorial was erected just a block away from the scene of an unrelated police-involved shooting early Tuesday.

In that incident, two emergency services police officers were on patrol when they spotted a 25-year-old man carrying a six-foot long, wooden fence post with a sharpened end, the Hudson County Prosecutor's Office said.

When police pulled up next to the man and told him to drop the fence post, the man allegedly threw it through the passenger window, hitting an officer in the head, authorities said. The man then allegedly reached into the police vehicle, grabbed an officer's rifle and tried to pull it through the window, prosecutors said.

The officer and the suspect struggled over the gun, which then went off. The shot went through the inside of the passenger-side door and hit the man, and an officer also fired at the man when he allegedly refused to show his hands, police said. The suspect was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

"If someone attempts to seriously injure a police officer, they will respond as necessary to end that threat," Jersey City Public Safety Director James Shea said of the incident. "That is something they are trained to do."