Officials: Man killed in Panera standoff was armed with BB gun

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PRINCETON -

A man who held police at bay for several hours inside a Princeton Panera Bread was armed with a BB gun, according to the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

Officials released their initial report as well as video of the standoff in which 56-year-old Scott Mielentz was shot and killed by a SWAT team member.

Officials say that police received a 911 call just before 10:30 a.m. on March 20 that a man had come into the restaurant with a gun. Police tried to negotiate with Mielentz for more than two hours, according to officials.

Video released by the attorney general seems to show Mielentz pointing the gun at the SWAT team in a threatening manner just before 3 p.m. Two SWAT team members then open fire on Mielentz, striking him in the head and torso. Mielentz was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials say that Mielentz was armed with a black Crosman PFM BB Pistol.

Authorities have not said what may have sparked the standoff, but Mielentz may have been dealing with mental health and financial issues according to published report.

The attorney general says that based on the evidence, officers were justified in their use of deadly force.

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    Locations of recent criminal activity in New Jersey.  Information obtained through local police departments and News 12 New Jersey reporting. 

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