Reporting Carol D'Auria
JERSEY CITY, NJ (1010 WINS/AP) — Authorities say a Jersey City police officer fatally shot a man who pointed a gun at him and his canine partner during a foot chase early Saturday.
It happened around 2 a.m. on Monticello Avenue. Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said Officer Luis Mecka was responding to reports of shots fired when he saw 28-year-old Deron Kittrell, who appeared to have a gun.
1010 WINS Carol D’Auria reports: Witnesses Say Suspect Was Armed
Witnesses claim the officer stopped his patrol car and came out with his police dog and his gun drawn.
“As he was talking to us, the cop rode past, bust a U-turn, and when the cop bust a U-turn he got out of his car with his dog and he said , ‘Don’t move.’ The guy said ‘What?’ He said ‘Don’t move,’” said one witness who didn’t want to be identified.
When Mecka ordered him to drop the weapon, Kittrell instead ran off. That’s when DeFazio said Mecka fired four shots, hitting Kittrell in the torso and hip. Mecka wasn’t injured.
Kittrell was taken to Jersey City Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. He was a father of two young children.
Donalda James, the grandmother of Kittrell’s children, says the cop should have just arrested him.
“He may have had a gun, but he didn’t draw it, he didn’t pull it out,” she said. “Actually, he was trying to run away and they had dogs. So the dog itself could have stopped him. I don’t understand why they had to shoot.”
The incident will be reviewed by the prosecutor’s office, which is standard procedure in police-involved shootings.
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