Ocean County Prosecutor's Office Says Beachwood Cop Took 'Appropriate Action' In Fatal Shooting
Sgt. Bruce Harris has had his gun returned to him
Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford has determined that Beachwood Police Sgt. Bruce Harris took appropriate action when he shot and killed Mark Tanouye in the parking lot of the High Velocity Sports Bar in July, Senior Assistant Prosecutor Michel A. Paulhus said.
"It appears it's a lawful and appropriate use of deadly force," Paulhus said today. "The investigation is by no means over. But at this stage, the prosecutor has determined it to be an appropriate use of deadly force."
The Prosecutor's Office is preparing the results of the investigation to send to the state Attorney General's Office for review and a final determination on the incident, Paulhus said.
"These are just the normal steps in this type of process," he said. "We are in the process of putting it together and that will be made very soon."
Harris has had his service revolver returned to him, Paulhus said.
It will be up to Beachwood Police Chief William L. Cairns to determine when he will return to active duty, he said.
Harris was in uniform in a marked police cruiser on July 19 when he responded to a 10:50 p.m. call about a man "creating a disturbance" in the parking lot of the sports bar on Route 166, Paulhus has said.
Harris got out of his patrol car and confronted Tanouye in the sports bar parking lot. Tanouye was carrying a .25 caliber handgun, Paulhus has said.
"He ignored repeated commands to drop his weapon," Paulhus has said. "The officer discharged his weapon and the male suffered fatal injuries."
Tanouye was pronounced dead at the scene. An autopsy determined he died of a single gunshot would to the chest.
Harris was put on administrative leave while the investigation continues, which is standard procedure, Ford has said.
The results of Tanouye's blood alcohol levels at the time of the shooting are not yet available, Paulhus said today.
"It's normally six to eight weeks," he said.
Tanouye had a lengthy criminal record. He was last admitted to state prison in March 2008 and was released March 2012 from South Woods State Prison, on one count of terroristic threats to kill, and one count of weapons possession for an unlawful purpose. The charges stemmed from an incident in May 14, 2006, according to the state Departments of Corrections website.
On May 5 of that year, Tanouye impersonated a public servant, a charge which he also served prison time for. He used aliases such as Gregory Bartholomew, Bartholemew Dangalow, Mark Dangelo and Mark Tonouge, according to the DOC website.