Frantic moments before fatal police shooting in Paterson: Video


A video released by the New Jersey Attorney General’s office shows the frantic minutes before a Florida man was shot dead by a Paterson police officer.

The accident occurred on October 10.

The four videos, taken from city surveillance cameras and private security cameras, show 33-year-old Hui Zhang having his first accident. His car collided with three other cars at the red light.

Attorney General’s Office

Attorney General’s Office

Zhang jumped out of his car, apparently carrying a gun. A woman heard in the audio accompanying one of the videos can be heard saying, “That’s a big gun.”

Attorney General’s Office

Attorney General’s Office

Then he ran down Van Houten Street and appeared to be trying to break into other vehicles in a desperate attempt to escape.

The commotion caught the attention of Paterson City Police Officer Victor Laura. Laura was wearing civilian clothes at the time, as a result of which she was not wearing the standard body cameras that uniformed officers wear.

Laura and another unidentified man can be seen chasing Zhang in one of the videos. The unidentified man is seen facing Zhang behind a white truck and appears to crash into him on the ground.

Attorney General’s Office

Attorney General’s Office

The shots that ended Zhang’s life in one of the videos can be heard but not seen.

In the last video, he is seen lying on the ground. Zhang’s death was announced at the scene.

Less than a minute has passed from the time Zhang tries to get into one of the cars near the accident, and when she hears gunshots.

The fatal shooting is still under investigation, and few details have been revealed, including why Zhang is in New Jersey.

Initial reports from the attorney general’s office stated that the gun Zhang was carrying was not an actual firearm, but rather an entry-level pistol like the one used to start track and field events.

According to a press release accompanying the video, Zhang’s family was contacted before the footage was released.

The observation video can be viewed below.

** CAUTION: Images may be disturbing to some viewers **

Eric Scott is Senior Policy Director and Broadcaster for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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