HILLSIDE — An attempted-carjacking suspect managed to grab a township police officer's gun from his holster and shoot himself dead even though the man was handcuffed at police headquarters, prosecutors said Saturday.

The shooting at the police station happened 4:45 p.m. Friday while Jermaine Covington, 41, was tied down to a bar in an area designated for processing suspects, the Union County Prosecutor's Office said Saturday morning.

Officials said Covington grabbed the weapon from a passing officer. An official statement did not provide further details about the shooting, including whether he struggled with the officer or how long it took before he shot himself. A spokesman for the prosecutor also declined to further explain how the suspect was cuffed.

Prosecutors did not say if the shooting was caught on surveillance video or whether there were other eyewitnesses.

The Baltimore man had been arrested by Hillside cops after leading Union Township officers on a chase.

Prosecutors said Covington fled the scene of a car accident about 1 p.m. in Union. Police gave up pursuit for safety reasons but spotted him again sometime later, officials said.

Police said Covington got out of his vehicle and then tried to carjack another vehicle before Hillside police caught him.

A spokesman for the prosecutor says the shooting remains under investigation.

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