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South Jersey Man With Replica Handgun Shot, Killed By Police ID'd As Air Force Vet

Charles Sharp III
Charles Sharp III Photo Credit: INSET: Funeral home / PHOTO: MTPD

UPDATE: A man who authorities said was carrying a replica handgun when he was shot and killed by a local police officer before dawn outside his South Jersey home was identified as a United States Air Force veteran.

Charles Sharp III, 49, was shot as a Mantua Township police officer responded to a 911 call at his Elm Avenue home shortly after 1:30 a.m. Sept 14, Acting New Jersey Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck said Wednesday.

“A detailed replica of a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun was found near Mr. Sharp,” Bruck said, without disclosing the nature of the emergency call.

Officers rendered first aid before Sharp was taken to Jefferson Washington Township Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 2:49 a.m., the attorney general said.

Born in San Diego, CA, Sharp grew up in Mantua and graduated (Class of 1991) from Clearview Regional High School in Mullica Hill, according to his obituary.

He was a member of the 177th Fighter Wing during more than 21 years of service with the United States Air Force, it says.

Sharp is survived by a son and siblings, as well as seven nieces and nephews. A service was held Tuesday at Smith Funeral Home in Mantua followed by burial with military honors in Gloucester County Veterans Cemetery in Monroe Township.

State law and attorney general guidelines require investigations of all deaths in New Jersey that occur “during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody," Bruck said.

The guidelines guarantee that the investigation by Bruck’s Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) is done “in a full, impartial and transparent manner."

Once the investigation is complete, the results are presented to a grand jury -- ordinarily consisting of 16 to 23 citizens -- that determines whether or not criminal charges are in order.

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ALSO SEE: A single-engine plane that inadvertently strayed into temporarily restricted airspace over the George Washington Bridge, drawing a pair of Air Force fighter jets, was being flown by an Army instructor pilot from the United States Military Academy at West Point. READ MORE....

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