HILLSBOROUGH TOWNSHIP, NJ (Somerset County) – The Attorney General’s Office Monday released three 911 calls, video footage from four body worn cameras, a Taser camera video, and police radio communications related to a fatal police-involved shooting that occurred on Jan. 9, 2022 in Hillsborough Township. The victim has been identified as Joshua Mathis, 19, of Hillsborough Township.
The recordings are being released in response to an OPRA request and pursuant to policies established by the Attorney General’s Office in 2019 that are designed to promote the fair, impartial, and transparent investigation of fatal police encounters. Investigators met Monday with Mathis’ family to review the recordings, authorities said.
According to the preliminary investigation, on Jan. 9, at around 6:12 p.m., officers of the Hillsborough Police Department responded to Corporal Langon Way after three 911 calls. Two of the 911 calls were made by Mathis, authorities said.
When officers arrived, they encountered Mathis inside an apartment holding a knife. During the encounter, he also took out an imitation gun from his waistband, which he threw to the floor, authorities said.
Then at around 6:26 p.m., Mathis advanced toward the officers with the knife raised. Officer Christopher Michaels deployed his Taser at Mathis and then fired his service weapon, fatally wounding Mathis, authorities said.
Police and emergency medical personnel rendered first aid, and Mathis was pronounced dead at the scene at 6:51 p.m., authorities said.
To listen and view the recordings, click here.
The fatal shooting remains under investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA).
This investigation is being conducted pursuant to a state law enacted in January 2019 (P.L. 2019, c.1), which requires that the Attorney General’s Office conduct all 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.
Separately, the Independent Prosecutor Directive, which was issued in December 2019, outlines a 10-step process for conducting these investigations. The Directive establishes clear procedures governing such investigations to ensure that they are conducted in a full, impartial, and transparent manner. Under both state law and the Directive, when the entire investigation is complete, the case will be presented to a grand jury, typically consisting of 16 to 23 citizens, to make the ultimate decision regarding whether criminal charges will be filed.