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Officers shoot a suspect who crashed into homes, vehicles in a backhoe. The deadly incident is under investigation.

nj police shooting
Source: New Jersey Attorney General's Office

Jan. 15 2022, Published 10:21 a.m. ET

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Police shot and killed a suspect who drove a construction backhoe and crashed into several homes and cars. While the officers’ conduct remains under investigation, officials released body camera footage from the incident.

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The shooting happened on Dec. 18 in Vineland, New Jersey. The suspect was identified as Joshua Gonzalez, 20, according to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

Officers from the Vineland Police Department responded to calls about a person operating a construction backhoe in an erratic manner, according to the attorney general’s office. Officers found Gonzalez in the construction equipment around 5 a.m.

Police tried to stop him for about 30 minutes, according to the attorney general’s office.

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Gonzalez caused “extensive damage” to several homes and vehicles, including three police cars, an ambulance and five occupied vehicles, officials said.

Police Shooting

In body camera footage released by the office, a cop runs down to Gonzalez and opens fire, shooting him through the window. At one point, officers talk about a gun, but it’s unclear what weapon they are discussing.

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After the officer shoots Gonzalez, other cops rush to the scene. They pulled Gonzalez from the backhoe and handcuffed him. It did not appear they immediately provided aid.

Officials say Sgt. Louis Platania fired the fatal shot, and aid was given, the attorney general’s office claimed. Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:48 a.m.

Three officers had minor injuries and were treated and released.

The investigation into the shooting is ongoing.


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