PATERSON — The Attorney General’s Office today identified the decedent and officers involved in Friday’s fatal officer-involved shooting in Paterson. The civilian who died during the encounter has been identified as Najee Seabrooks, 31, of Paterson.
According to the preliminary investigation, on Friday, March 3, 2023, at approximately 7:43 a.m., the Paterson Police Department responded to Mill Street, City of Paterson, Passaic County, New Jersey, in response to a 911 call of an individual in distress. The individual, later identified as Mr. Najee Seabrooks, the decedent, had barricaded himself within a bathroom. At approximately 8:42 a.m., additional resources from the Paterson Police Department responded to the scene including the Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) and the Emergency Response Team (ERT). During the encounter, less lethal force was deployed by three (3) officers, identified as Hector Mendez, Qiad Lin, and Mario Vdovjak. At approximately 12:35 p.m. two (2) members of the ERT, Officer Anzore Tsay and Officer Jose Hernandez, discharged their weapons striking Mr. Seabrooks. Mr. Seabrooks was transported to Saint Joseph’s Medical Center where he was pronounced deceased at 12:51 p.m.
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 investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.