State Grand Jury Declines to Criminally Charge Officers Involved in Fatal Shooting in Newark on May 3, 2023

For Immediate Release: July 9, 2024

Office of the Attorney General
– Matthew J. Platkin, Attorney General
Office of Public Integrity and Accountability
– Drew Skinner, Executive Director

For Further Information:

Media Inquiries-
Dan Prochilo

TRENTON — A state grand jury has voted not to file any criminal charges at the conclusion of its deliberations regarding the death of Everett Rand, 29, of Newark, New Jersey, who was fatally shot by officers from the Newark Police Department on May 3, 2023.

Mr. Rand’s 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 2019 Independent Prosecutor Directive. 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 witness interviews, video footage, ballistics, and autopsy results from the medical examiner. This evidence, including video of the incident, was presented to the state grand jury. After hearing the testimony and evidence, the grand jury concluded its deliberations on July 8, 2024, and voted “no bill,” meaning jurors decided no criminal charges should be filed against Newark Police Officers Steven Ferreira and Ryan Castro.

The investigation revealed that, on May 3, 2023, Newark officers responded to a 911 call reporting individuals had been shot inside a residence on Johnson Avenue. Responding officers observed a man (Mr. Rand) leaving the residence and discarding an item in a nearby dumpster. Multiple officers then chased Mr. Rand while other officers gained entry to the home on Johnson Avenue.

According to Officer Ferreira’s later statement, he observed Mr. Rand reach into his waistband during the foot pursuit and grab what appeared to be a handgun.  Officer Ferreira then fell to the ground as he discharged his firearm at Mr. Rand several times.  Officer Castro also fired his weapon at Mr. Rand.  After Mr. Rand was arrested, his handgun was recovered.

Officers rendered medical aid until EMS arrived and transported Mr. Rand to University Hospital in Newark, where he was pronounced deceased at approximately 9:14 p.m.

Further investigation revealed that, earlier, Mr. Rand discarded another weapon, a semi-automatic handgun with a large capacity magazine, in the dumpster where he was first observed by the police.

When police entered the residence, they found a 27-year-old man from Newark deceased from a gunshot wound and an 8-year-old boy who had been struck by gunfire. The child was transported to University Hospital in Newark where he was later pronounced deceased. The Essex County Prosecutor’s Office investigated the shootings that happened in the residence. The investigation revealed that a third person sustained non-life-threatening injuries from being shot while inside the Johnson Avenue home.

Footage from four police officers’ body-worn cameras related to the police-involved shooting was previously released. Those recordings are posted online here:

A 2019 law, N.J.S.A. 52:17B-107(a)(2), 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 Drew Skinner 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.