TEMPE, Ariz. (FOX 10) — Tempe Police officials announced Monday that the officer involved in the shooting death of 14-year-old Antonio Arce has resigned.
According to earlier statements by Tempe Police, the incident happened on the afternoon of January 15, when officers responded to an alley on the 4500 block of S. Fair Lane, located near 48th Street and Baseline Road, for a suspicious vehicle report. When officers arrived on scene, they saw a person who was in the process of burglarizing the car. Upon contact, the suspect left the car on the passenger side, and fled on foot holding a handgun. A uniformed officer chased the suspect on foot, and gave verbal commands.
During the chase, police officials said the officer perceived a threat, and fired his service weapon, striking the suspect. CPR was given after the suspect was located, but the suspect later died at a hospital. Body-worn cameras show Arce didn't appear to turn around or point a weapon at Jaen.
In late January, Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir identified the officer involved in the shooting as Officer Jaen, and did not reveal the officer's first name. On Monday, the Associated Press identified the officer as Joseph Jaen. Jaen has served as a police officer for 17 years, with 14 of those years as a Tempe Police officer.
According to a statement released Monday afternoon by Tempe Police officials, Chief Moir met Jaen Monday afternoon, and accepted his resignation with immediate effect. Meanwhile, a criminal investigation of the officer-involved shooting is still under review with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, and an administrative investigation by Tempe Police remains ongoing.
Tempe Police officials, however, noted that Jaen's resignation is independent of the criminal review and the administrative investigation.
Shortly after Tempe Police announced Jaen's resignation, Rob Ferraro, President of the Tempe Officers Association, released a statement, which reads, in part:
"Whenever a police officer uses lethal force, many, many lives are changed: the deceased and the loved ones of the deceased; the officer who pulls the trigger; that officer’s family and loved ones; and that officer’s colleagues on the frontlines. Again, such situations can only be described as tragic, because in the aftermath of such fast-moving, highly fluid situations, lives are ended and permanently changed in ways no one would ever wish for.
The officers of TOA again respectfully ask the members of the community and everyone touched by this incident to withhold judgement [sic] until the ongoing review of the case has been completed and all the facts are known."