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New Jersey A.G. identifies man police fatally shot in South Jersey

The Attorney General's Office also announced that a state grand jury decided against criminal charges in a fatal 2019 shooting of a man by police in Burlington County.

File photo.
File photo.Read moreYong Kim / Staff Photographer

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday identified a 49-year-old man police in Gloucester County fatally shot last week, and said a handgun found near him after the encounter was determined to be a “replica.”

The office also announced that a state grand jury declined to file criminal charges against a Burlington County police officer who shot and killed a 41-year-old Pemberton Township man in 2019.

Encounters with law enforcement in New Jersey that result in death are investigated by the state Attorney General’s Office.

Police shot Charles Sharp III on Sept. 14 outside his home on the 200 block of Elm Avenue in Mantua Township.

About 1:35 a.m., two uniformed Mantua Township police officers responded to a 911 call, and during an encounter outside the house, one of the officers shot Sharp, the Attorney General’s Office said in a news release.

Officers rendered first aid to Sharp, who was then transported to Jefferson Washington Township Hospital. He was pronounced dead at 2:49 a.m.

Investigators originally said that a .45-caliber semi-automatic handgun was found near Sharp. The Attorney General’s Office on Wednesday said that it was determined to be a “detailed replica.”

No other information was released.

Also on Wednesday, the office said a state grand jury decided that the fatal 2019 shooting of Witney Rivera by a Pemberton Borough police officer was justified.

On July 19, 2019, Officer William Roberts of the Pemberton Borough Police Department responded to a reported altercation near Rivera’s residence in Pemberton Township about 9:15 p.m., the Attorney General’s Office said.

“When Officer Roberts arrived, he observed Mr. Rivera to be armed with a long scythe and advancing rapidly toward other individuals. Officer Roberts gave repeated commands for Mr. Rivera to drop the weapon, but Mr. Rivera did not comply and continued to advance toward those individuals. Officer Roberts then fired at Mr. Rivera, fatally wounding him,” the office said.

Rivera was taken to Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly, where he was pronounced dead around 10 p.m.