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State still investigating Princeton shooting

Photo by Pam Hersh
The Panera Bread restaurant on Nassau Street in Princeton was covered with signs after the "March for Our Lives" rally recently in Princeton. The restaurant is currently closed for renovations after an armed man was shot and killed by law enforcement after a five-hour standoff March 20. (Photo by Pam Hersh)

State Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal’s office has declined to say when it will conclude its ongoing investigation into a fatal shooting in Princeton.

On March 20, a man armed with a BB gun entered Panera Bread, Nassau Street, and held law enforcement personnel at bay for five hours. The man was eventually shot and killed by New Jersey State Police troopers.

In-store video footage that authorities released showed the man, identified as Scott L. Mielentz, 56, of Lawrenceville, pointing the gun in the direction of law enforcement personnel moments before he was killed. Authorities have said two members of the state police Technical Emergency and Mission Specialists Unit shot Mielentz, once in the torso and once in the head, with M4 rifles.

“We issued video footage within 20 days of the shooting and we issued statements immediately after the shooting and when the video was released. We will issue another statement when the investigation is concluded,” Peter Aseltine, a spokesman for Grewal, said in an email on July 13.

Princeton Mayor Liz Lempert said on July 16 that she would like to see the state conclude the probe and lay out what happened to the public.

“It has been a long time and I think they should do it sooner rather than later,” Council President Jenny Crumiller said on July 16. “I’d like information to be made public or the report that was done, the conclusions that were drawn.

Details about Mielentz came out after the shooting, including that he had dealt with mental health and financial issues.

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