RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Two police officers had no choice but to shoot and kill an ex-con who came at them with a stolen SUV in Rutherford following a chase, state authorities said this afternoon in announcing that a grand jury voted not to file criminal charges against any of those involved.
The two officers were in danger of being killed by an SUV driven by Kashad Ashford after he crashed it on the Ridge Road overpass above Route 3 and hit the gas trying to escape the night of Sept. 15, 2014, acting New Jersey Attorney General John J. Hoffman said this afternoon.
One of the officers "believed he had no choice," so he "fired three hollow-point rounds from his .40-caliber service handgun and saw the driver go lifeless," the attorney general said. "The medical examiner and ballistics reports concluded that at least two of the shots fired by Officer 1 struck Ashford in the head."
The second officer, who also had a .40-caliber, said both he and his colleague "shouted for the driver of the SUV to turn off the vehicle and show his hands," Hoffman said.
"Immediately before he fired his gun," the officer said, "the driver had his left hand on the steering wheel and was crouched down toward the center console like he was trying to grab something."
Fearing that Ashford was reaching for a weapon, the officer "fired when the driver’s right shoulder came straight up in a quick movement like he might be raising a gun," Hoffman said.
At least one of the rounds hit Ashford in the head, he said.
"After the shooting, a .357-caliber revolver loaded with six bullets was found in the SUV between the driver’s right hip and the center console," Hoffman said.
Fellow ex-con Jemmaine T. Bynes was taken out of the SUV and immediately handcuffed. He was shot dead in Newark this past March 11 -- a crime that remains unsolved.
Nearly 20 minutes earlier, Bynes tried to steal another vehicle in a Newell Place driveway in North Arlington, the attorney general said. The owner shouted from her window and dialed 911. CLICK HERE FOR THE FULL STORY....
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