🚨 The driver of a van refused orders from police to get during a traffic stop on Route 9

🚨 Officers heard what sounded like a firework from the back of the van

🚨 Police said the man appears to have taken his own life

The state Attorney General's office is investigating the second death in a week involving Woodbridge police.

During a traffic stop about 6:30 p.m. Friday at a gas station on Route 9, police ordered the driver to exit the van he was driving after learning there was an active warrant as part of a criminal investigation in Nassau County, New York, according to Attorney General Matthew Platkin.

The driver refused and instead moved to the back to sit behind a curtain in the rear of the van, officials said.

Officers broke the windows of the van and unsuccessfully used pepper spray to get the driver out of the van. After about 15 minutes, officers heard a loud noise that sounded like a firework coming from the back of the van, according to Platkin.

The driver was found dead from an apparent gunshot wound.

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Woodbridge Police vehicle (Woodbridge Police)
Woodbridge Police vehicle (Woodbridge Police)

Shotgun found inside van

The attorney general said a preliminary investigation determined no law enforcement fired their weapons during the encounter. A non-police-issued shotgun was inside the van, officials said.

The identity of the driver was not disclosed.

Under state law the Attorney General's Office must investigate a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in their official capacity or while the deceased is in custody.

A day earlier, a homicide suspect who police had tracked from New York to a hotel in Woodbridge came down the elevator of the Royal Albert’s Palace hotel, also known as the Raritan Hotel, and opened fire at Woodbridge and NYPD officers.

After an exchange of gunfire, the gunman was dead and two officers were hospitalized. The cops have since been released.

If you feel you or someone you know may be in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 988 or the NJ Hopeline at 1-855-654-6735. Click here to chat online with a trained counselor.

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