The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday identified the 20-year-old man whom police fatally shot during a rampage involving a construction backhoe Saturday in Vineland.
Joshua Gonzalez, of Millville, was pronounced dead at the scene after Sgt. Louis Platania of the Vineland Police Department shot him, prosecutors said.
Around 5 a.m. Saturday, several police officers responding to a disturbance involving a backhoe in the area of West Park Drive encountered Gonzalez operating the construction equipment at the Penn Lincoln Mobile Home Park, prosecutors said.
The police officers attempted for 30 minutes to stop Gonzalez, prosecutors said.
During that time, the backhoe caused extensive damage to several residences and vehicles, including two police cars, an ambulance, and an occupied civilian vehicle.
“While the officers were attempting to stop Mr. Gonzalez, Sgt. Louis Platania of the Vineland Police Department fired his weapon fatally wounding Mr. Gonzalez. Medical aid was rendered by officers and emergency medical personnel. Mr. Gonzalez was pronounced dead at the scene at approximately 5:48 a.m.,” the Attorney General’s Office said in a statement.
Three Vineland police officers were treated for minor injuries.
The Attorney General’s Office is investigating the circumstances of the fatal shooting.