Officer who fatally shot homeowner who called 911 seconds after arriving at the scene charged with manslaughter
A police officer who shot and killed a homeowner who called 911 to report intruders outside her southern New Jersey home has been charged with murder. .
The indictment against Mantua Township Police Officer Salvatore Oldrati was handed up by a state grand jury Tuesday and made public Wednesday night. He could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.
The charges stem from the Sept. 14, 2021, death of Charles Sharp III, 49, who called 911 around 1:30 a.m. to say he saw two burglars in his backyard and one of them had There is a handgun. Oldrati and another Mantua officer, Cpl. Robert Layton soon responded to the house in various vehicles.
Sharp, an Air Force veteran, was on the phone with a 911 dispatcher and was standing in his front yard when officers arrived. Layton got there first, followed by Oldrati a little later.
As Oldrati got out of his police vehicle, Layton yelled, “He’s got a handgun, right there,” the attorney general’s office said in a press release. Oldrati then fired his service weapon multiple times, striking Sharp several times. Sharp was taken to a hospital but was pronounced dead a short time later.
Layton did not discharge his service weapon, and neither he nor Oldrati were injured, authorities said. Authorities said a replica .45-caliber firearm was found near Sharp.
Investigators determined that Oldrati did not give Sharp any verbal commands or warnings before shooting him.
State Attorney General Matthew Plotkin said in a statement, “When residents call 911 for service, they are worried, they need help, they want protection — and they believe they are safe.” Officers responding to the call will respond and assist accordingly,” state Attorney General Matthew Plotkin said in a statement. “Sadly, that didn’t happen here.”
The case was reviewed by a grand jury, which is mandatory in cases where a civilian is killed during an encounter with a law enforcement officer. The Office of Public Integrity and Accountability investigated the incident and presented its findings to the panel.
“Less than five seconds elapsed between when Officer Alderati exited his police vehicle and when he opened fire on Mr. Sharp,” Thomas Asher, the office’s executive director, said in the statement. “… the grand jury determined that his conduct was not justified and warranted the return of the charge of murder.”
Oldratty’s attorney, Christopher St. John, said he was shocked and disappointed by the indictment and that his client was “extremely disappointed.”
“However, I am very confident that once a real jury, a petit jury, is able to look at all the evidence in its entirety, that Sal will be exonerated,” St. John said.
Death of Sharpe He served in the Air Force for more than 21 years and was a “talented carpenter with many skills” who “could build anything,” they said.
“Chuck was a funny man and always knew how to make you laugh and could always put a smile on your face,” the obituary said.