†††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† *News Release*†††††††††††††††† Date: March 9, 2012

 

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Police officer, suspect identified

 

††††††††† Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Woodbridge Police Director Robert Hubner announced today that an off-duty township patrolman fired a single shot that killed a Paterson man, who was threatening to kill a 62-year-old woman at the Woodbridge Center shopping mall on March 8, 2012.

 

Officer Edward Barrett Jr., 32, was in uniform and was arriving at the mall for extra-duty work when he was alerted to a suspected shoplifting.

 

Barrett, with assistance of three mall security guards, approached Andres Garcia (DOB 12/30/67) of Paterson on suspicion of shoplifting at an upscale clothing store.

 

Garcia, who was wanted by authorities since September 15, 2011 for violating his parole on a robbery conviction, fled.

 

Officer Barrett and the mall guards chased him to the entrance of Sears, where Garcia grabbed the 62-year-old woman by the hair, held a knife to her neck and repeatedly threatened to kill her.

 

The womanís husband tried to hold onto his wife as Garcia dragged her into the store.

 

Officer Barrett repeatedly warned Garcia to drop the knife before firing the single shot that struck Garcia in the head at 5:15 p.m.

 

Garcia was pronounced dead at the scene at 5:32 p.m.

 

The woman and her husband were not harmed. Their identities are being withheld.

 

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An autopsy by the Middlesex County Medical Examinerís Office determined that Garcia died from the gunshot wound.

 

Officer Barrett has been a member of the Woodbridge Police Department for eight years, and currently is assigned to the radio patrol division.

 

Following the shooting, members of the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office took control of the scene and are heading a detailed investigation.

 

In addition, the state Office of the Attorney General was immediately notified of the shooting in accordance with state guidelines.

 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office at (732) 745-3300.

 

Additional information will be released as it becomes available.