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Updated: Township Man Killed In Shootout With Police In New Brunswick

Somerset Street shooting 4-9-16 - 1

The site in New Brunswick of an early morning April 9 shootout between a township man and township police, in which the man was killed.


Latest Developments:

April 12:

A Facebook group has been created, called “#JusticeForDiahlo.” It can be accessed here.

April 11:

Friends and family have established a GoFundMe page to help defray the cost of Grant’s funeral. Donations can be made by clicking here.

The New Brunswick Area NAACP has issued a statement, outlining questions the organization says it has about Grant’s death. The text of that statement is here.

Family and friends gathered at the site where Grant was killed for a candlelight vigil. Photos from the vigil can be seen here.


 

A 27-year-old township man was killed early in the morning of April 9 after he allegedly engaged in a shootout with township police in New Brunswick.

Diahlo Grant of Somerset was pronounced dead at 3:17 a.m. at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, after having been shot by police at 1:31 a.m., according to a press release from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office.

According to a person familiar with the incident, two uniformed Franklin police officers recognized Grant as being wanted on warrants when they encountered him near Somerset and Home streets. The officers left their patrol car to talk to him, at which point Grant allegedly ran toward New Brunswick, the person said.

Grant ran through the ravine that borders Franklin and New Brunswick, the person said, and ran into a chain-link fence on the New Brunswick side. The officers lost Grant until they heard him try to climb the fence, the person said. As they approached Grant, he allegedly pulled a gun and fired one round at the officers, which missed, the person said. One of the officers then returned fire, hitting Grant several times, the person said.

One of the officers performed CPR on him until paramedics arrived, according to the press release.

Police recovered Grant’s gun, according to the release.

Warrants were issued for Grant for non-payment of child support in Middlesex County, and for violation of probation on a drug charge in Somerset County, according to the release.

Franklin Police Chief Lawrence Roberts said the officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative leave, which, he said, is standard procedure. The officers have not been identified.

The incident is being investigated by the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, in accordance with the sate Attorney General’s “Use of Force” guidelines, according to the release.

Details of the shooting are under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Joseph Chesseri of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office at (732) 745-3300.

Later Saturday, The Rev. DeForest B. Soaries, senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens on Route 27, said he will speak with township police chief Lawrence Roberts and Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey about the shooting.

“All across America, concerned leaders and citizens have been questioning the interactions between law enforcement officials and black citizens that too often result in the deaths of the black citizens,” Soaries said in a press release. “In light of this national concern and on behalf of our local community, I will be speaking with Chief Roberts and Prosecutor Carey today about the tragic shooting that occurred in Franklin Township early this morning. We look forward to hearing all of the facts of this case and pray for the families of the victim and the officers involved. We will also monitor the investigation to ensure that justice prevails for all involved and affected parties.”

Soaries said in the release that he will “actively monitor” the investigation.

This is the first fatal police shooting in the township in nearly six years. In August, 2010, police shot and killed 60-year-old Arthur McDougald in front of his Franklin Boulevard home after he drew a gun on them. Officers were at his home to arrest him on a domestic violence charge.

This is an evolving story. Check back with the Franklin Reporter & Advocate for updates.

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