N.J. grand jury declines to charge West New York cop who killed man that shot at police


A state grand jury has declined to criminally charge a West New York police officer who killed a man that shot at police last summer, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office announced.By John Heinis/Hudson County View

A state grand jury has voted not to file any criminal charges at the conclusion of its deliberations regarding the death of Kevin Colindres, 32, of West New York, who was fatally shot by a West New York police officer on June 3rd, 2022.

His death was investigated by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) and presented to New Jersey residents serving on the grand jury in accordance with the Independent Prosecutor Directive of 2019.

The investigation included interviews of witnesses, photographs, review of body-worn camera footage, and autopsy results from the medical examiner. This evidence, including video of the incident, was presented to a state grand jury.

After hearing the testimony and evidence, the grand jury concluded its deliberations on Monday, September 11th and voted “no bill,” meaning the grand jury concluded no criminal charges should be filed against the officer, who has not been identified.

According to the investigation, officers of the West New York Police Department responded to a residence on 59th Street in West New York at approximately 6:30 p.m. in response to a 911 call involving a domestic dispute.

During the initial encounter, Mr. Colindres fired a weapon at the officers while standing in the vestibule of the home. One officer discharged his weapon. One officer sustained a non-fatal injury during this initial encounter with Mr. Colindres. Officers took cover and maintained the scene.

While the AG’s office hasn’t identified the officer who was shot, HCV identified him as Police Officer Samuel Molina-Urena on the evening of the incident.

Approximately 15 minutes after the initial encounter, Colindres emerged from a neighboring door and ran down the sidewalk, visibly armed with two firearms.

An officer discharged his firearm, fatally wounding Colindres. Officers and emergency medical personnel rendered first aid.

Two firearms were recovered near Colindres and one additional firearm was recovered on his person. He was pronounced deceased at Palisades Medical Center in North Bergen at 7:13 p.m.

Video footage from four body-worn cameras, four surveillance cameras, and a 911 call related to the shooting were previously released just over a year ago.

The grand jury is instructed on the elements of the potential criminal offenses, including criminal homicide offenses, that could be brought and, as required by statutes, the grand jury is instructed on self-defense and other forms of legal justification.

A conflicts check was conducted pursuant to the Independent Prosecutor Directive and no actual or potential conflict of interest was found involving any individual assigned to the investigation.

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