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Prosecutor: Man shot by police was holding garden shears

July 21, 2018

VINELAND, N.J. (AP) — Prosecutors say a man shot and killed by a police officer in New Jersey was carrying garden shears wrapped in a T-shirt and told officers he had an explosive.

The Cumberland County prosecutor’s office said Friday that the July 14 encounter with Vineland police lasted almost a half-hour before 37-year-old Rashaun Washington was shot.

Body camera footage shows Washington pacing and telling officers they would have to shoot him.

Prosecutor Jennifer Webb-McRae said the video shows officers using de-escalation techniques. She said after shots were fired, a police K-9 officer was released for 15 seconds as police tried to immobilize Washington.

Webb-McRae said Washington was found to have been holding 8¼-inch bladed garden shears. The officer who fired is on administrative leave as prosecutors investigate.

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