The Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office has determined a 2005 shooting by a police officer was legally justified, according to a news release.
It was the Prosecutor’s Office’s second review of the shooting of Hector Rodriguez, who was confronted by Bridgeton police in an alleyway after fatally stabbing his brother-in-law on May 8, 2005.
According to previous Press reports, Rodriguez struck Patrolman Ryan Shinn in the temple with a sharp object. In order to prevent Rodriguez from gaining access to his service weapon, Shinn shot Rodriguez once in the right shoulder, prosecutors said.
The bullet ricocheted off Rodriguez’s shoulder blade and into his spine, causing him to become paralyzed, prosecutors said. Rodriguez died 10 years later, and the medical examiner determined his death was caused by the gunshot wound, the news release states.
A 2005 investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office determined Shinn was justified in the shooting. In the second review, following Rodriguez’s death, the Prosecutor’s Office determined the facts to be undisputed that the officer acted in a manner consistent with the New Jersey attorney general’s “use of force” policy and with legal justification, the news release states.