An off-duty police officer fatally shot a shoplifter who was holding a hostage at knife point inside Woodbridge Center Thursday evening.

The incident unfolded shortly after 5 p.m., when a mall security guard confronted the suspect for alleged shoplifting in the Hollister Co. apparel store. The suspect then put a knife to the throat of a random shopper and pulled her inside the Sears store.

The off-duty officer, who was in uniform and working a paid detail at the mall, chased the suspect and eventually shot him, reports the Star-Ledger.

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