What to Know
- A police officer who shot and killed a man in Vineland, New Jersey, over the weekend has been placed on administrative leave.
- Witnesses said the confrontation lasted for more than ten minutes and the man appeared to have a water bottle in his hand.
- NBC10 obtained new viewer video of the shooting.
A police officer who shot and killed a man in Vineland, New Jersey, over the weekend has been placed on administrative leave. Officials made the announcement Monday as they continue to investigate the shooting.
Police were called to West Wood Street between Boulevard and 4th Street around 11:20 a.m. Saturday for a report of a man acting suspiciously. When they arrived, they found a man standing on the front porch of a home.
An encounter between the officers and the man lasted for several minutes. At some point the officers shot and killed 37-year-old Rashaun Washington, of Bridgeton, New Jersey. Investigators have not yet revealed whether he was armed or what led to the shooting, only saying that an officer "discharged their weapon" and had been placed on administrative leave.
NBC10 obtained viewer videos showing multiple officers, some with their guns drawn, lined up on Wood Street near a shirtless man standing in a yard.
“Walking back and forth, pacing back and forth,” Ryonna Maven, a witness, said. “I’m sure he was paranoid. Big guns in his face.”
Witnesses said the confrontation lasted for more than 10 minutes and Washington appeared to have a water bottle in his hand. One witness said Washington told police he wasn’t going to give himself up.
“The guy came around the car and he came toward them and they shot him three times,” Christopher Cueves, another witness, told NBC10.
In one of the videos you hear the sound of three gunshots though the camera points away from the shooting. After the shots are fired, the video shows the officers appearing to spray a substance on Washington as he lies on the ground.
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Sean Camper, another witness, said a police dog chewed on Washington's face.
"They didn't have to have the dogs chew on him, you know what I mean? They could've just took him down and handcuffed him," Camper said.
In the video, officers tell witnesses to back up moments before the shooting, stating Washington had a bomb.
"If he had a bomb on him why would you shoot him? So it's just messed up man," Camper said.
Cueves said he was traumatized by the shooting.
“Very difficult especially when you see blood splatter,” he said.
Jose Pagan, another witness, said he had met Washington several times.
“This is very tragic and I want to send my condolences to the family,” Pagan said.
Pagan said he doesn't believe Washington should have died.
"Something has to be done here with the Vineland police," he said. "They're trigger happy."
Walter Hudson, the leader of the National Awareness Alliance, told NBC10 he's reaching out to Washington's family to offer condolences and is also pushing for answers from police.
"I was outraged," Hudson said. "It's another case of police brutality. He did not deserve to be shot. He deserved to be taken into custody and further evaluated. His shirt was off. Didn't see no gun."
The Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the incident. If you have any information, please call Det. Joseph Lowry of the CCPO at 856-453-0486 x11197.