Officers responding to the fatal May 3 shootings of a man and 8-year-old boy on Johnson Avenue in Newark saw Everett Rand toss what turned out to be a semi-automatic handgun with a large capacity magazine into a Dumpster, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin said Monday, Sept. 18.
Rand, 29, then took off on foot with several uniformed officers on his tail.
A basic background search turned up a six-year history of arrests for Rand.
The points of view from the officers' body cams bounce around as they run, making it difficult to clearly see the actual confrontation that took place less than two blocks away.
The recordings can be viewed here: Newark -- Rand Recordings (NJ Attorney General's Office)
Rand was within a few feet of at least one of the officers when no fewer than nine shots ring out.
He's then seen face down at a curb next to a minivan, with the officers around him and a handgun on the sidewalk nearby.
Newark Police Officers Steven Ferreira and Ryan Castro fired their service weapons, Platkin said, while noting that the gun found next to Rand didn’t belong to law enforcement.
Little was said during the seconds-long incident apart from officers shouting “Shots fired” into their radios and one of them shouting “F---!” while kneeling over Rand.
Back at the residence police found 27-year-old Newark resident Wyleek Shaw dead of a gunshot wound and young Zahmire Lopez mortally wounded. The child was later pronounced dead at University Hospital.
The killer reportedly grabbed Zahmire and shot him in the chest as his mother tried to protect him.
She apparently escaped out a second-story window.
At this point, no one has said whether they believe that Rand was the killer. Ballistic tests on the semiautomatic handgun that he reportedly was carrying would show whether or not it was used in the homicides.
Meanwhile, authorities were conducting a mandated investigation of the circumstances surrounding Rand’s death.
Both state law and his own guidelines require Platkin to review any death that occur in New Jersey “during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody," no matter what the circumstances are.
The guidelines guarantee that the investigation is done “in a full, impartial and transparent manner," removing politics or personal agendas, he has said.
Once the investigation by his Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) is completed, the results are presented to the grand jury “in a neutral, objective manner, and with appropriate transparency,” the attorney general said.
The panel then renders a ruling on whether it was a clean shoot or a criminal investigation is warranted.
The process includes sharing all bodycam and surveillance video and any other footage shot of an incident with the family of the deceased. Platkin said was done in this instance, the same as all others.
“An officer may use deadly force in New Jersey when the officer reasonably believes it is immediately necessary to protect the officer or another person from imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm,” he noted.
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