The Attorney General’s Office released video footage on Friday, May 13 from three body-worn cameras related to a fatal police-involved shooting that occurred on April 12, in Edison.
The shooting victim has been identified as Merrill Rambarose, 49, of Edison. The officers who fired their service weapons at Rambarose have been identified as Officer Daniel Bradley and Officer Joseph Elqumos of the Edison Police Department.
WARNING: The videos are graphic. Edison police can be heard saying, "Put the weapon down" as the suspect runs toward them with an axe. Then, at least four shots are fired.
The fatal shooting remains under investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA). The recordings are being released pursuant to policies established by the Attorney General’s Office in 2019 that are designed to promote the fair, impartial, and transparent investigation of fatal police encounters. Investigators met Friday with Rambarose’s family to review the recordings.
According to the preliminary investigation, uniformed officers of the Edison Police Department responded to a 9-1-1 call made shortly after 3:45 p.m. reporting a man threatening an individual with an axe on Judson Street in Edison.
When police arrived, they attempted to speak to Rambarose on his balcony. He can be heard on video saying, "I'm going to kill you all."
Rambarose then went inside his apartment and emerged moments later armed with a short-handled axe.
Officers ordered him to back up and drop the weapon. He did not comply with the officers’ commands and instead charged toward the officers with the axe in his hand according to the Attorney General's Office.
At this time, Officers Elquomos and Bradley both fired their weapons, fatally wounding Rambarose. An axe was recovered near Rambarose. Officers and emergency medical personnel rendered first aid to Rambarose, who was pronounced deceased on scene via telemetry at 4:41 p.m.
The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.
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