Family of man killed by Elizabeth police officer holds rally outside headquarters

Estiben Alegria-Hurtado, 42, was shot and killed by police during a disturbance at an Amity Street home.

Matt Trapani and Eliecer Marte

Aug 4, 2023, 2:19 AM

Updated 314 days ago

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The family of an Elizabeth man shot and killed during a police encounter says that the officers did not have to kill their loved one.
Estiben Alegria-Hurtado, 42, died on July 30, one day after being shot. Authorities say that Elizabeth police were called to a home on Amity Street in Elizabeth for reports of a disturbance. It was during this call that Officer Steven Lazo shot and killed Alegria-Hurtado. They say that a knife was recovered at the scene.
Alegria-Hurtado’s family says that he had no intention of using that knife. They say that the police did not need to shoot Alegria-Hurtado because the family members had the situation under control.
Family members held a rally in front of Elizabeth Police Headquarters Thursday evening. The family says that Alegria-Hurtado got into an argument with his brother’s ex-girlfriend after showing up drunk at her home.
The family says that when Alegria-Hurtado got intoxicated, he would act erratically. They say that the argument between the woman and Alegria-Hurtado escalated. She grabbed a bat, and he had a knife, which one of the brothers says he never used because two cousins were allegedly holding him and calming both down. 
The family says they don’t know the reason behind the argument or who called the police. Based on a preliminary investigation it was around 8 a.m. when officers arrived and encountered Alegria-Hurtado. The family wonders why a Taser was not used instead.
Alegria-Hurtado was rushed to University Hospital but died a day later. News 12 has learned he was a father of two teenagers that live in Colombia. He had just moved to the United States last year. His family says his dream was to bring his children to live with him in New Jersey. 
A vigil for Alegria-Hurtado will be held on Saturday. The New Jersey Office of the Attorney General is investigating the case.


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