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Scott L. Mielentz held off police in the Princeton restaurant earlier this year

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For hours, Scott L. Mielentz repeatedly begged police officers to shoot him.

And for hours they did not.

Scott Mielentz

He was holed up inside the Panera in Princeton this past March, and he had a handgun that he showed to police, waving it around while complaining about his woes.

Instead of firing, officers talked to him, negotiated, appealed to anything they could learn about him, and resisted his suicidal wishes.

“Just kill me. Do it for me, guys,” he said once.

“Put the gun down!” state troopers responded.

“Just do this, guys. I’m going to shoot you, guys. Don’t make me do this,” Mielentz said another time. And, “It’s either going to be you or me.”

“Soldier, put that gun down!” the troopers and negotiators tried.

Mielentz, 56, had said he was a Vietnam veteran, a claim later proved false.

During his final, fatal encounter with officers on March 20, the SWAT team troopers could not hold their fire, the state Attorney General’s Office said Friday in justifying their actions.

At about 2:56 p.m., Mielentz walked out of the dining area where he’d been and held his gun at a downward angle.

He smoked a cigarette, crushed it out on the floor, spread his stance and – and as he’d done before – counted down from five.

The he started raising the gun, hesitantly, as troopers pleaded with him not to do it.

When it was aimed at them, two troopers fired five times, Trooper William Kerstetter fired four and Trooper Joseph Trogani one.

Mielentz was dead at the scene.

His gun? A Crosman PFM BB pistol.

All of the law enforcement witnesses, the state said, reported to investigators that they believed throughout the standoff that it was an actual firearm.

The investigation into the shooting, conducted by the state …read more

Source:: New Jersey Real -Time News


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