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Lowell police officer shoots driver after he opens fire at traffic stop

A Lowell police officer shot a man during a traffic stop early Wednesday after the man got out of his car and allegedly opened fire, police said.

The officer, who was not identified, stopped a vehicle on Middlesex Street near Webber Street at 3:29 a.m. for vehicle violations, police said in a statement. The driver, Darris Newton, 23, of Lowell, exited the car and began shooting at the officer with a handgun, police alleged.

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The officer, who was not hit, returned fire and hit Newton twice, in the chest and in the arm, according to police.

Newton was taken to Tufts Medical Center. Police Captain Timothy Crowley said he was “fairly certain” Newton was in stable condition.

The officer has been placed on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

Newton was to be arraigned Wednesday from his hospital bed, police said. He faces several charges, including armed assault with intent to murder, unlawful carrying of a loaded firearm, operating a motor vehicle with defective equipment, and a red light violation.

State Police and Lowell police are investigating.

Kiera Blessing can be reached at kiera.blessing@globe.com.
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