UPDATE: A 24-year-old Morris County man who was shot and killed by police Tuesday was holding an airsoft gun that looks like a real firearm, authorities said Wednesday.
Police got a 911 domestic call from an older woman at a Morris Township home who said Timothy O’Shea, 24, had a gun and had cut himself shortly after 4 p.m, state Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said.
They got the caller, whom responders said is O’Shea’s mother, to safety before encountering him in the driveway of the Fairchild Avenue home, responders said.
He was “holding a pistol and bleeding,” Grewal said.
Officers from three the Morris Township, Morris Plains, and Morristown police departments were all there when one of them fired, hitting O’Shea, the attorney general said.
They rendered aid until EMS arrived and took O’Shea to Morristown Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 5:41 p.m., Grewal said.
“The [gun] that was in his hand was recovered at the scene and determined to be a replica Beretta 9mm airsoft pistol,” Grewal said.
Airsoft guns are used for target shooting and various games. Their recycled plastic ammunition isn't lethal but can cause serious injuries.
Because they look real, New Jersey law has prohibited citizens from openly carrying them. They must be stored and transported in locked cases.
Earlier this year, the state adopted a law that bans their sale.
Toy guns in New Jersey cannot be black, blue, silver or aluminum and must have a bright orange stripe along the side so law enforcement officers and others can tell the difference.
Detectives from Grewal’s Integrity Bureau within the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability were investigating the incident, which is standard practice when a death occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer in New Jersey.
O’Shea’s father, Lt. Kevin O’Shea, is a retired township police officer, Morristown Green reported.
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