Police officers fatally shot a man after he advanced on them with a broken bottle minutes into an encounter Thursday, according to the preliminary investigation by the Attorney General’s Office.
Authorities are still trying to determine the man’s identity.
Ventnor and Atlantic City police were called to the city’s border on Wellington and West End avenues at about 4:16 p.m., concerning a man behaving erratically.
When the responding officers encountered the man, he was walking in and out of a marshy area along the roadway, while holding a broken glass bottle in his hand, the preliminary investigation found.
The officers attempted to engage the man and offer him assistance, but he refused to comply with their commands, including repeated requests for him to drop the bottle, according to the report.
Instead, he continued to walk back and forth on the roadway, where officers had stopped traffic for safety reasons.
At about 4:30 p.m., the man advanced on officers with the broken bottle in his hand and multiple officers fired their weapons, fatally wounding him.
An ambulance took him to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center’s City Campus where he was pronounced dead at 6 p.m.
The details released by the Attorney General’s Office match those of a witness who captured most of the altercation on video, which was shared with investigators.
Joey Killian said he pulled up as the first officer was on scene.
The man had a piece of broken glass in his hand, and appeared either high or mentally ill, he said.
The video shows the man walk back and forth from the marsh on the bay side of the road. He then crosses the road to the other side.
It then appears as if the man is tasered. But sources tell BreakingAC that the taser couldn’t be used on the man because he was wet.
“They got him,” one man is heard saying in the video.
The man appears to stumble back into the marsh, and then walks away further into the marsh.
“It did nothing at all but made him freak out and run back into the marsh,” Killian told BreakingAC.
“When he came out, he was moving fast toward them,” he said. “They fired.”
The shooting is not visible on the video, but several gunshots are heard.
The man is then seen lying motionless on side of the road.
Less than three minutes later, the ambulance shows up.
At least one other resident who videoed part of the altercation noted a “standoff” involving a mail truck.
Someone in a car that drove past the area before police were called told BreakingAC that they saw the unknown man come around the passenger side of the vehicle and open the back of the truck. He appeared to be a young black man.
The car drove past and the person did not witness the shooting.
Atlantic City police were on scene after the shooting Members of the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office were on the scene, along with the State Police Crime Scene Unit.
The investigation is being conducted pursuant to under the law that requires the Attorney General’s Office conduct investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody.
No further information is being released at this time.
Note: This story originally ran Aug. 7. It was updated with more details.