As reported by the Brick Patch online, the shooting of a 21-year-old Brick Township man in August 2015 during a confrontation with police has been ruled a justifiable use of deadly force, Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato announced Thursday.
In a statement released Thursday morning, Coronato said the investigation into the Aug. 23 shooting that killed Julian Hoffman was justified by “the undisputed facts of this case.”
“Although there is a presumption of grand jury review when the use of force results in death, the directive (from the state Attorney General’s Office) provides that the county prosecutor is not required to present the matter to the grand jury where the undisputed facts indicate that the use of force was justifiable under the law,” the statement from Coronato’s office said. “Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato has determined that the undisputed facts of this case indicate that the use of deadly force was justifiable under the law, and that presentation of the matter to the grand jury is not required.”
The statement released by the prosecutor’s office says the state Attorney General’s office agreed with Coronato’s findings.
Coronato’s statement says Hoffman had what appeared to be a gun in his hand when he answered the door after calling 911 to report he was “raising hell.” The handgun was a BB gun, which Hoffman refused to drop, according to the statement.
The two Brick officers who fired on Hoffman each shot four bullets, with three total striking Hoffman, the statement said.
And despite a concerted effort to retrieve video from a home security system belonging to Hoffman’s father, none was able to retrieved because it had been overwritten, the statement said.
The statement from the prosecutor’s office concluded the following:
“After analyzing all of the facts and circumstances of this incident within the context of the use-of-force policy promulgated by the New Jersey Attorney General, it is the conclusion of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office that Officers 1 and 2 used an acceptable level of force in unholstering, pointing and firing their weapons at Hoffman.
The facts and circumstances reasonably led Officers 1 and 2 to believe that their actions in discharging their firearms were immediately necessary to protect their own lives as well as the lives of the other officers present.
The entire matter has been reviewed by Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato and all portions of the Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Directive regarding uniform statewide procedures and best practices for conducting police use-of-force investigations that were in effect during the course of the investigation were complied with.”