|SOUTH BRUNSWICK - The Attorney General’s Shooting Response Team is conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding a shooting in which a member of the Middlesex County Special Operations Response Team fatally shot a man in South Brunswick last night.
According to the preliminary investigation, Andrew Murnieks, 28, was fatally shot inside his residence at 8 Hannah Drive about 10:30 p.m. by a police officer who is part of the county special operations team. Members of the South Brunswick police department were dispatched to the residence about 6:30 p.m. on a report of an emotionally disturbed person. Upon arrival, Murnieks’ mother told officers that her son was schizophrenic and had not been taking his medications. Township police had responded to prior incidents at the house involving Andrew Murnieks. As South Brunswick officers approached the house to speak to Murnieks, he opened the front door and raised a large knife above his head in a threatening manner. The officers shut the door, retreated, and alerted the County Special Operations Response Team. The county team arrived and took command. A crisis negotiator made repeated efforts over the next several hours to resolve the situation. When those efforts failed, members of the county team entered the residence about 10:30 p.m. Murnieks assaulted a police officer, who fired a single shot from his service weapon, striking Murnieks in the chest. Murnieks was treated at the scene by paramedics assigned to the county special operations team and was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was produced dead at 11:35 p.m.
The incident remains under investigation by the Attorney General’s Shooting Response Team. Under an Attorney General Directive, the Attorney General’s Shooting Response Team, made up of deputy attorneys general and detectives of the Division of Criminal Justice and detectives of the State Police Major Crime Unit, are dispatched to the scene to handle investigations of shootings involving state law enforcement officers or county SWAT teams. No further information will be released at this time due to the ongoing investigation.