Jersey City, NJ (WABC) — An investigation is ongoing after a Jersey City man was killed in a police-involved shooting.
Police responded to a residence on Randolph Avenue near Bramhall Avenue around 2:30 p.m. Sunday after EMS sent them a request.
A Jersey City police officer opened fire, hitting a man, officials said. The man was then taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead. His family identified him as Andrew Jerome Washington, 52.
Washington’s family said he was suffering from a mental health crisis and sought help, but the family did not expect the SWAT team to confront their loved one, who was reportedly in a “stressful state.”
His family said something similar happened to him a few years ago and it didn’t end well, but this time it was even worse. The family said they called the crisis center where he was being treated for bipolar disorder and schizophrenia a few days earlier on Saturday afternoon because they feared he was being released too early. While he was on the medication, he behaved well and was not violent, but he became “seriously ill”, his family said.
When police showed up at the scene, the family told him they needed help from a mental health professional, which they said was not the case.
“They were talking to him. He was yelling at them. Because we were like, let’s go in, let’s talk to him, let’s try to go in. Because then they saw the SWAT coming. We were like ‘why’ you Call the SWAT? They went in, and we fired two shots. We thought they shot him with a pellet gun or something,” said his aunt, Doris Ervin.
“They need to do a better job of treating the mentally ill. When they shoot someone, their actions need to be more compassionate and understanding, and the family is standing outside waiting for an answer, and they’re sitting here for three hours, Action had to be taken and they ended up telling us like crazy they killed our nephew,” added his aunt, Lisa Mendes.
The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office said it was investigating and, as it does every time someone dies during an encounter with law enforcement, first responders at the scene called in Jersey City police for help. They also said the man who was shot died after undergoing surgery about two hours later.
Washington survived a confrontation with police that ended in gunfire about 12 years ago, when he was shot in the arm, his family said.
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