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Video: Man hijacks backhoe, flips cop car before fatally shot by cops

Police car lights (Alexandru Cuznetov/Dreamstime/TNS)
December 22, 2021

A New Jersey man was shot and killed by police on Saturday after he allegedly hijacked a backhoe and used it to flip over a police car. Three officers suffered minor injuries in the incident.

According to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office, the fatal police-involved shooting occurred in the early morning hours of Dec. 18 in Vineland, N.J.

Video of the incident showed the man driving the backhoe toward a police car and flipping it onto its side. After flipping the first car, the backhoe driver is seen chasing another patrol car. Footage of the incident was provided to FOX29 Philadelphia by neighbor Aida Morales.

Morales said the situation “looked like something out of a movie.”

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Morales said. “And you wonder why that person, what made that person snap. It’s sad.”

The backhoe driver also hit multiple cars and flipped an ambulance over.  

“The backhoe was hitting the red car, just kept hitting it. Then within a span of maybe like three to five minutes, an ambulance pulled up, and then the ambulance pulled into the driveway,” said neighbor Nykatora Holley, according to ABC 6. “Within another two minutes, he knocked it down and there was a bunch of smoke and crashing.”

The N.J. Attorney General’s office said in a statement that “one police officer of the Vineland Police Department fired his service weapon, fatally wounding the man.”

“First aid was rendered by officers and emergency medical personnel. The man was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 5:48 a.m,” the office added.

Three Vineland police officers were injured during the bizarre incident. They were all treated and released.

“I have never seen nothing like this. Not around here. It’s scary, really,” said Tom Propheita from Vineland.

The identity of the backhoe driver has not yet been released pending further investigation.

“This investigation is being conducted pursuant to Attorney General Directive 2019-4, which implements the statutory requirement that the Attorney General’s Office conduct the investigation of any death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody, and which establishes clear standards and procedures for conducting such investigations,” the AG’s office said. “The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.”