PLEASANTVILLE — The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office will investigate the fatal shooting of a 19-year-old Pleasantville man by three city police officers Monday afternoon.
The Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office said Alexis Yamil Perez, 19, was shot by officers during a confrontation at 4:20 p.m. outside his home on the 800 block of West Park Avenue.
Police were called to the scene for a report of an armed male who was allegedly “making threats of using violence” outside of his home. Acting Atlantic County Prosecutor Jim McClain said in a statement that after officers arrived, Perez was shot multiple times by three police officers and died at the scene.
McClain said the city’s Police Department will not be involved in the investigation and it will be conducted by the office’s Major Crimes Unit. An autopsy and ballistics analysis will also be done.
The Prosecutor’s Office has also contacted the state’s Attorney General’s Office about the initiation of a deadly force investigation and will review the incident.
The state Attorney General’s Use of Force Policy states that “a law enforcement officer may use deadly force to stop a fleeing suspect from escaping if there is probable cause to believe the suspect has committed an offense in which the suspect caused or attempted to cause death or serious bodily harm; and who will pose an imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm should the escape succeed.”
Police say Perez had a knife.
Pleasantville resident Deogracias Rivera said his grandson Perez lived with his mother and brother at the home. His grandson had dropped out of school and was between jobs but the family was helping him, Rivera said.
The night before, Perez was using his grandfather’s computer until 11 p.m. when he went home.
“The last thing I told him was to be careful.’ He said ‘Don’t worry, I’m just going home (a few blocks away),’” Rivera said.
Rivera did not witness the shooting but said residents told him he had been shot 12 times. Rivera said he did not think the fatal shooting was necessary.
“This is a young kid. It’s daylight. Why shoot him 12 times? That doesn’t make sense. (The shooter) doesn’t belong in the police force.”
Authorities did not release information regarding the number of times Perez had been shot.
Rivera said he will advise his family to hire a lawyer.
“We can’t let this go. I know they’ll say they had no choice. He had to do it. They have a union. They have lawyers. They’ll justify it. I know. I’m sure it wasn’t necessary.”
Residents stopped by the scene of the investigation throughout the night to check out what happened.
Resident James Ward said he did not hear gun shots from inside his house but walked outside when he saw police cars.
He said he saw a young man lying on the ground and people trying to perform CPR on him. They could not revive him, Ward said.
“It’s usually a quiet neighborhood. We don’t get much drama around here,” he said.
This is the second incident of an officer involved shooting in the area in the last four months.
On Dec. 17, Atlantic City resident Derreck Mack, 18, was killed by an Atlantic City police officer during a chase. An Atlantic County Grand jury ruled the shooting was justified earlier this month – clearing the officer of any charges.
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