Mantua Township

Gun Found Near Man Shot Dead by NJ Police Was a Replica

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The gun recovered near a man’s body after police shot him to death outside his Gloucester County home was a “detailed” replica, state officials said Thursday.

Charles Sharp III, 49, died Sept. 14 when a Mantua Township Police Department officer opened fire on him after arriving to his house on Elm Avenue in response to a 911 call. Two officers were at the scene, but only one fired his gun, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office said in a news release.

The AG’s office did not reveal what the initial 911 call was about or what led to the shooting, other than saying it happened during “an encounter” between Sharp and the officers, who had arrived at the home around 1:35 a.m.

NBC10 obtained a neighbor's surveillance video in which the sound of several gunshots can be heard when police opened fire. More than a dozen bullet casings were later seen on the ground. The AG’s office said investigators found a replica .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun near Sharp’s body.

The officers rendered first aid before Sharp was rushed to Jefferson Washington Township Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:49 a.m., the attorney general’s office said.

Neighbor Grace Vulpio told NBC10 Sharp was a military veteran who was well-liked in the neighborhood.

"He was a nice guy," she said. "He just moved in, just got a new dog, so that's how we kind of talked because the dogs were together."

The AG’s office said it would not be releasing more information at this time as it investigates the shooting.

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