The New Jersey state Attorney General’s Office has released video footage showing the chaotic scene as a man driving a backhoe smashed cars—including police cars—and homes in Vineland before he was shot to death by a police officer on Dec. 18.
Joshua E. Gonzalez, 20, of Millville, was shot after police tried for a half hour to stop him as he crushed police vehicles, toppled an ambulance and rampaged through a neighborhood, according to authorities.
The attorney general's office released body camera footage, along with surveillance and cellphone videos, and 911 calls related to the incident on Thursday afternoon and also met with Gonzalez’s family to review the footage, NJ.com reports.
The incident began around 5 a.m. when Vineland officers received 911 calls reporting that someone driving a backhoe had struck a car at a Vineland business and driven off.
Body camera footage shows officers converging on the yellow vehicle as it tears through the Penn Lincoln Mobile Home Park in the pre-dawn darkness.
“Our house is completely demolished,” a woman reported in a 911 call that was released by Cumberland County on Thursday in response to an public records request about the incident. “It just took out the entire front of our house. It’s now taking out other houses as well … I can’t get out of my front door.”
“He’s going into houses, Jim. We’ve gotta do something now,” one officer declares as he races after the vehicle. Footage from Vineland Police Sgt. Louis Platania’s body camera shows him exit his car and run toward the backhoe.
He fires multiple shots, blowing out a window in the cab. The driver slumps over as the vehicle continues out of control and comes to a stop when it plows into a tree.