OCEAN COUNTY PROSECUTOR RELEASES FINDINGS IN MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP POLICE OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING
In compliance with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Directive 2006-5 (July 28, 2015) on the uniform statewide procedures and best practices for conducting police officer use-of-force investigations, this public statement is being issued regarding the July 31, 2016 Manchester Township Officer involved shooting of LiMichael Shine.
The Office of the Attorney General agreed with the findings of Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato that the undisputed facts of this case establish that the use of deadly force by the police officer was legally justified. The Attorney General also agreed that there are no material facts in dispute with regard to the officers’ use of force. As a result, a Grand Jury presentation is not warranted.
The facts regarding the use of force are as follows: On July 31, 2016, three uniformed officers were dispatched to Robin Street, a senior community, on the 911 call by a suicidal man with unknown weapons. The man reported that he was enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corp and had anger issues. He stated to the 911 operator that you will see people laughing as soon as the first patrol car arrived. The 911 operator was unsure if the caller had a weapon and conveyed that information to the Manchester Police. The exact whereabouts of the man were unknown when the police arrived.
Due to the uncertainty of the information, two of officers parked their police vehicles about a block away and walked toward Robin Street. A third officer arrived separately from a different direction and secured the scene. They ultimately encountered the suicidal man, identified as LiMichael Shine, in the driveway of a Robin Street residence. There was a red vehicle parked in the driveway with the back window blown out. The officers engaged with Shine in an effort to talk him down. Shine advised the officers that he had a knife and to put the red dot on his forehead and pull the trigger and to do it quickly. He went on to state that he couldn’t do it anymore, he lost it all and that he had a knife in his waistband and that he was going to stab the officers with it.
Shine began to count down quickly from fifteen while pulling the long bladed knife from his waistband. Both officers backed away from Shine as he began to count. Shine was about 20 feet away from one officer when he pulled the knife and lunged forward at the officer. The officer then discharged one (1) round from his department issued firearm striking Shine in the chest. He fell to the ground about 10 feet from the officer.
Police officers immediately started life saving measures until an ambulance arrived. Shine was transported to Community Medical Center Hospital by ambulance for further medical treatment. He was later pronounced dead and an autopsy determined that the cause of death was a single gunshot wound to chest.
A search of the red vehicle in the driveway revealed a suicide note located on the driver side of the car. The note stated that “I am sorry to the officer on duty that will do this act. Remember you are loved.
…” The note went on for two pages indicating that he was sorry to his parents, the Marines and missed an opportunity to be happy and included usernames and passwords.
Neighbors, who witnessed the event, indicated that they saw the police officers walking down the street in uniform. They saw the officers engage with Shine, although not every word was audible to them. They saw Shine advance on the officers and pull a knife or silver object from his belt prior to being shot.
The Office of the Attorney General and Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato are satisfied that the undisputed facts establish that the Manchester Township police officer used the appropriate force necessary to protect his life and that of his fellow officer and that he was legally justified in doing so. This investigation was conducted consistent with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Directive 2006-5 (July 28, 2015) regarding the uniform statewide procedures and best practices for conducting police officer use-of-force investigations.
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