Man shot dead by Jersey police had mental health problems, family says

Jersey City, NJ (WABC) — The New Jersey Attorney General is investigating a police-involved shooting that killed a man in Jersey City.

Police were called to a house on Randolph Street near Bramhall Street shortly before 2:30 pm on Sunday after emergency services called police.

Officials said police were trying to defuse the situation when a man charged them with a knife. A police officer opened fire with a commercial rifle and shot the man dead, officials said.

The man’s family identified him as Andrew Jerome Washington, 52. The man was taken to hospital for surgery, but was later pronounced dead.

Mr Washington’s family said Mr Washington was suffering from a mental health crisis and sought help but did not expect SWAT teams to confront a loved one who was reportedly in a “state of agitation”. It has said.

His family says something similar happened to him years ago and it didn’t go well, but this time it was much worse. About 12 years ago, Washington was shot in his arm during a clash with police.

This time, the family said Saturday afternoon they called a crisis center that had been treating him for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia days earlier. They were worried that he would be released too soon.

Washington’s relatives said he was not violent, but was “very ill”.

“They were talking to him. He was yelling at them because we were like, ‘Let’s go in, talk to him, let’s go in.’ Because they saw the SWAT guys coming, and we were like, ‘Why call it SWAT? And when they got inside, they heard two gunshots. We thought they shot him with a pellet gun or something,” said Aunt Doris Ervin.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office said it had launched an investigation each time someone died in an encounter with law enforcement, and that it was paramedics at the scene who called the Jersey Police Department for help.

“When it comes to the mentally ill, they need to act better. When they shoot people, when they have to sit here for three hours and act while their family members are standing outside waiting to be found. , we need to act with more compassion and understanding,” added his aunt Lisa Mendes, “to finally tell us that they killed our nephew.”

Authorities said they will be reviewing footage from body cameras worn during the encounter.

READ ALSO | Man charged with ‘horrific’ hammer attack that killed 1, injured 2


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