Investigation Into Woodbridge Center Mall Shooting Continues

WOODBRIDGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Authorities are still trying to figure out what led to an incident Thursday at a New Jersey mall that ended with a man dead and shoppers shaken.

Officials say a suspected shoplifter armed with a knife was shot and killed by a uniformed police officer working at the Woodbridge Center Mall after he took a woman hostage inside Sears.

Shopper Tyler Bruno shot video on his cell phone as the scene was unfolding.

“We found everybody saying do not go in the mall, saying do not go in the mall, something crazy’s going on in the mall,” said Bruno.

The unidentified suspect was confronted by security after allegedly shoplifting at a clothing store. That’s when officials say he took off toward Sears and grabbed a woman, holding a long kitchen knife to her neck.

“They were all saying how big his knife was,” said Bruno. “And how he put it against her throat.”

“All of a sudden they shut down the gates at Sears,” said shopper Colleen Veder. “We took off running cause we knew something happened. My sister-in-law called to say get out of the mall there was a shooting.”

Many shoppers took off running, including one woman who says she saw the whole thing. Visibly shaken, she recounted how police killed the suspect in the store with a single shot.

“The guy got away and was running with his knife and then not even a minute later, you heard a shot,” she said. “And then, everybody screaming, everybody just starts running.”

“They heard the shot and that’s all they remember,” said Bruno. “One gunshot. Just one gunshot.”

The suspect’s name has not been released. The woman was not hurt.

Please share your thoughts below…

  • NJ Mom

    This guy was a wanted felon. Proud of the officer for doing his job and protecting innocent people. This guy was trash he had the opportunity to get out of being shot several times. He just responded by saying he was going to kill the hostage.

    The officer is a hero. Job well done sir.

  • The Truth Speaks

    The perp was a 45 year old convicted Robber,who was wanted for a Parole Violation, I think that says it all. So stop calling the cop a bad guy ,and start calling him HERO !

  • I Dont Gamble

    Moral of the story, if you get caught shoplifting don’t pull out a knife and put it to an innocent persons throat or you might get killed… Cop had no choice, what is he gonna wait for the guy to slice someones throat?

  • Yankee Fan

    This cop is going to have to just public area and with perp running away. The cop may indeed be exhorated as I do not know the full environment. However he is going to be asked many questions.

    • Yankee Fan

      My comment got edited. I was trying to say there will be an investigation as to why the police office took a shot in a public area with perp running away

  • rabble rouser says

    If it was your wife or daughter,or girlfriend,and this low life held a knife to her throat,in an attempt to avoid arrest, I;d be thanking the Officer who shot the perp,and saved her life……………….I guess Robert wouldn’t give a rats ass if it was his relation

  • Robert

    I dunno…I just don’t see the loss of a human life as a reason for celebration…is shooting him the only way? If handled differently, maybe the guy could’ve been talked out it…..the guy probably just went to shoplift a people really think he was a killer?…

    • yippyIOkayyea!

      we will find out,after they release his name,and prior arrest and conviction history won’t we Robert

    • I Dont Gamble

      I don’t think people are celebrating, they are just happy that the cop acted swiftly in saving an innocent persons life…What would you have said if the cop decided not to act and the perp killed the woman?

  • Dee k

    That is exactly my thought!!!! I can’t believe people are saluting that cop! If shoplifter was threatening to kill, well that’s just what the cop did! He was supposed to shoot to stop him running and then law takes its course and he goes to jail or whatever . But to kill a shoplifter! How Bout all the murderers out there and rapists etc, and kill a shop lifter ! Appalling n so tragic!

    • Robert

      In the UK, police don’t carry firearms….and they have a lot less crime than we do…I guess the cops over there have use their wits to defuse situations….

      • yippyIOkayyea!

        Get your facts correct,the local bobbies don’t usually carry sidearms,but there are always armed police officers assigned to respond to certain situations……..not to mention the UK is made up of Islands,so how far can the perps run

        • Robert

          If this mall was in the UK…the officer would’ve been unarmed…that is a fact. OK..they have SWAT teams where officers are armed. The UK is islands?!?!? What does that have to do with ANYTHING?

    • yippyIOkayyea!

      Once he displayed a knife,and took a hostage,he was an armed kidnapper,not a shoplifter,and he deserved what he got

  • Ray

    I think they need to tell the world the losers name! Stop protecting the guilty. I think the police officer deserves a medal!

    • yippyIOkayyea!

      I agree the Officer should get a commendation for his quick thinking in saving a women from injury or worse.I hope he gets promoted to Detective,and they have a commemorative lunch in his honor.

  • Paul J.

    This society is truly going to the toilet based on the comments I am seeing in this thread. How we all defend a person that clearly broke the law and put himself in that situation, for a CD or a shirt, c’mon. If anyone truly knows a police officer the last thing they want to do is shoot someone. I hope he is recovering well, l as know he has to go forth in life knowing he took a mans life doing his job. Please stop make excuses for people that are committing crimes. Create a new culture of life. a life with out crime even if it’s petty. This will lead to less involvement with law enforcement and a better life ahead!

  • yippyIOkayyea!

    I guarantee,when they release this perps prior record,he has a history of violent offenses.why carry a large knife to go shoplifting,unless you intend to use it when/or if you get caught?

  • Thomas

    What, we want the police to wait until he grabs the next person and puts the knife to their throat and kills them? Then teh public woudl be crying “Why didn’t they kill him when they had a chance and before he grabbed another person”. The proper course of action, to avoid the use of deadly force, by this suspect would be to drop the knife, stop running, and raise his hands in the air. If none of that happened, the police had reason to believe he presented a clear and present danger and had an obligation to act just as they did.

    • yippyIOkayyea!


  • Dbee

    I am in shock from reading so many horrible comments regarding the death of the alleged shoplifter. I cant believe the society we live in glorifies murder! All we know for sure is the guy was clearly running away… Why was a kill shot fired to the head?? The cop couldnt have shot him in a leg??

    • yesindeed

      Clearly running away,when he took a hostage at knifepoint you idiot !

    • yesindeed

      ps, when an Officer fires his weapon,it’s always a shoot kill,not a shoot to wound……………………..amazing stupidity

      • Dbee

        Please refrain from your immature name calling..If you would like to reply maturely, then maybe we can have a conversation. Otherwise, you mite want to note that in this society, today in America, it is not justified nor legal for an officer to shoot to kill someone who is fleeing. As for drawing a firearm in a public, enclosed place around people, including children (close to Disney Store), while a shoplifter is running away is not the best split second decision to make. Police have to follow specific protocol whether they are on duty or not and I am speaking to the fact that this did not have to end in death, period.

        • anonymous

          were you there? the woman taken hostage was my grandmother and must now live with this the rest of her life. A man took her and dragged her from outside the store and held a knife to her throat. he repeatedly told the officer that he was going to kill her. what if he would have? then what would you be arguing that he should have taken the shot when he could? he did the right thing and there was nothing anyone could have done and I’m glad he did because now i get to see my grandma again.

        • yippyIOkayyea!

          Justice was well served…………………….

  • None of Yours

    Ill tell you this much. He messed up for shoplifting and definately messed up by taking a hostage. But if he let that woman go and started running for his life there is no reason why he had to be killed. Im pretty sure he was shot in the back somewhere. the woman who recounted the whole ordeal even said it “he got away’ and all of a sudden he gets shot. I mean come on now!!!

    • yesindeed

      he got what he earned……………………death by stupidity

  • jimmy

    What some people will do for fashion.

  • Esmerelda

    Its a world gone mad.

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