Man kills himself after shootout with police

May 10, 2008 8:50:28 PM PDT
A man armed with a handgun fatally shot himself after he was involved in a shootout with police outside a restaurant in Burlington County. Officers went to the Ruby Tuesday's on Route 130 and Levitt Parkway in Willingboro late Friday night after receiving calls about an armed man in the restaurant's parking lot, said Jack Smith, a spokesman for the county prosecutors office.

Shortly after arriving there at about 11:10 p.m., the officers confronted James Isaac Rittenburg, 36, of Trenton near an outdoor trash container, Smith said. Shots rang out a short time later and the officers returned fire, striking Rittenburg.

However, the county Medical Examiner's Office found the shots fired by the officers were not fatal, Smith said Saturday night. Instead, it was determined that Rittenburg died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

It was not clear why Rittenburg was at the restaurant or why he started shooting.

Smith would not identify the officers involved or provide further details on the shooting - including how many times Rittenburg was shot or whether any of the officers were injured - because it remains under investigation.

The prosecutor's office is reviewing the incident, which is standard policy for police-involved shootings. Details also were reported to the state's Division of Criminal Justice, as mandated by the state Attorney General's guidelines regarding police involved shootings.