TRENTON — 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, New Jersey, who was fatally shot by a West New York police officer on June 3, 2022.
Mr. Colindres’ 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. In July 2021, OPIA issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure these grand jury presentations are conducted in a neutral, objective manner, with appropriate transparency regarding the process, consistent with the directive.
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 Monday, September 11, 2023, and voted “no bill,” meaning the grand jury concluded no criminal charges should be filed against the officer.
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.
Approximately 15 minutes after the initial encounter, Mr. 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 to Mr. Colindres. Two firearms were recovered near Mr. 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. Those recordings are posted online: https://njoag.box.com/s/aaiwlg2hqivya7y5fdd17cot4oakzbjq
A 2019 law, P.L. 2019, c. 1, requires the Attorney General’s Office to conduct investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody. It requires that all such investigations be presented to a grand jury to determine if the evidence supports the return of an indictment against the officer or officers involved. 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. Prior to presentation to the grand jury, the investigation was reviewed by OPIA Executive Director Thomas Eicher in accordance with the policies and procedures established for these presentations in the SOPs.
At the conclusion of these investigations, pursuant to the Independent Prosecutor Directive and SOPs, OPIA determines whether any principal should be referred to the appropriate law enforcement agency for administrative review in accordance with the AG’s Internal Affairs Policy & Procedures. OPIA monitors any resulting review and takes such actions as are necessary to ensure that the review is completed in a timely fashion, and that appropriate actions are taken based on the results of the review.
The Independent Prosecutor Directive is posted on the Attorney General’s website at this link:
Further information about how fatal police encounters are investigated in New Jersey under the directive is found at this link: