Man Killed In Police-Involved Shooting At Lyndhurst, N.J. Library

LYNDHURST, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A police-involved shooting at a New Jersey library Friday left a man dead and two police officers hospitalized.

The fatal shooting occurred on the top floor of the Lyndhurst Public Library at around 1:30 p.m. at 355 Valley Brook Ave., police said.

The officers opened fire following a confrontation with the suspect identified as Kevin Allen, 36, proseutors said.

As CBS2’s Weijia Jiang reported, Police Chief James O’Connor said an officer recognized Allen as a wanted criminal, and followed him into the library.

When the officer confronted Allen, O’Connor said he turned violent and took out a knife. That’s when a second officer got involved.

“Mr. Allen still went after them and left them no choice but to use deadly force,” Chief O’Connor said. “He was aggressive. He had the knife. He charged at officers with the knife. They used pepper spray, batons, but Mr. Allen left them with no other option.”

Barb McGuire lives across the street from the library and told CBS2’s Jiang she tried to comfort a woman who frantically ran out of the library.

“She heard noise, she heard running around. She saw the cops, she heard pop pop pop,” said McGuire. “She said the cops said ‘everyone get out’ and that was it.”

Two officers were involved in the incident and were taken to the hospital to be treated for shock, police said.

On Friday night, investigators carried several bags of evidence out of the library.

Police were questioning several people including a small child who witnessed the shooting, Jiang reported.

The confrontation occurred in the middle of a typical library room with computer work stations and rows of books, Jiang reported.

Molinielli wasn’t saying anything either about what motivated the shooting, Jiang reported.

Jayne Thorne was right outside the front door.

“All of a sudden two plain clother men and a policeman come running,” Thorne said.

Neighbors of the library called the shooting a surprise.

“It’s a quiet town. It’s not like crazy,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Carol D’Auria.

“It’s a shame. I wouldn’t imagine it. I always see people saying ‘this wouldn’t happen in my town,’ but now this happened in my town. So, nobody’s immune,” Robert O’Dell told WCBS 880’s Levon Putney.

Daisy Pabon said she took her kids to the library often, but won’t anymore.

“I’m very scared to go there. I don’t know what could happen next time,” she said.

O’Connor said about a dozen people were at the scene, on the third floor of the building lined with rows of books and computers. He could not say for certain if those innocent bystanders were safe from flying bullets.

“I haven’t seen all the reports. I can’t comment right now,” he said.

The library was evacuated and remains closed.

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