HACKENSACK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — The Bergen County Prosecutor’s office ruled Thursday that a Hackensack police officer was justified in shooting and killing a man during a domestic disturbance last year.
The call came from a person who told police that Raymond Peralta-Lantigua, 22, had broken a television in their apartment and had threatened to hit the caller, prosecutors said Thursday.
The first officer arrived at the scene around 5 p.m. that day, and at that point Peralta-Lantigua jump down from the steps of the Johnson Avenue building and walk directly toward and staring at the officer, prosecutors said.
The officer got out of the squad car and saw that Peralta-Lantigua was holding a large silver knife with a dark wooden handle in his right hand, prosecutors said. The officer drew a weapon and ordered Peralta-Lantigua to drop the knife several times.
But Peralta-Lantigua would not drop the knife and shouted several times “No, the knife is me!” prosecutors said.
The officer walked backward to retreat, but Peralta-Lantigua kept charging. The officer backed up and hit the curb, and Peralta-Lantigua kept coming closer. When Peralta-Lantigua was within three to five feet, the officer fired two shots and Peralta-Lantigua fell to the ground, prosecutors said.
Peralta-Lantigua was pronounced dead at Hackensack University Medical Center, prosecutors said.
Reports from other officers and civilians corroborated the story and indicated that Peralta-Lantigua was emotionally disturbed, prosecutors said.
An officer recalled a witness saying: “I witnessed everything. He kept coming at you, you had no choice. If you want I can stay as a witness,” prosecutors said.
Prosecutors ruled the shooting was justified based on the threat of force Peralta-Lantigua posed to the officer.