ARIZONA NEWS

Tempe officer who fatally shot fleeing teen in January resigns

May 20, 2019, 3:34 PM

Joseph Jaen...

Joseph Jaen (Tempe Police Department Photo)

(Tempe Police Department Photo)

PHOENIX – The East Valley police officer who fatally shot a fleeing teen carrying a toy gun earlier this year has resigned, authorities said.

Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir accepted the resignation of Officer Joseph Jaen on Monday afternoon, effective immediately, the department said in a press release.

The Jan. 15 shooting death of 14-year-old Antonio Arce in a Tempe alley remains under review for possible criminal charges by the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.

“The death of Antonio Arce has deeply affected all those involved,” the release said. “The Tempe Police Department again would like to offer our condolences to the Arce family.”

Jaen had responded to a 911 call about a suspicious truck parked in an alley behind a home off 48th Street between Southern Avenue and Baseline Road.

When he approached the truck, the suspect exited the vehicle’s passenger side and fled on foot, holding an airsoft pellet gun.

Police believe Arce took the replica weapon from the truck. It had an orange tip signifying it wasn’t a real firearm.

In body camera video made public, Jaen was heard yelling “let me see your hands” before firing twice at the boy, who kept running down an alley and around the corner.

While continuing his pursuit, Jaen was heard radioing in that shots were fired and the suspect had a gun.

He slowed down as he rounded the corner, and the footage ended before he encountered the suspect.

Tempe police gave the media access to unredacted video that showed nearly seven minutes passing after the teen was shot until officers began performing life-saving measures.

In addition to the criminal probe, Tempe police are conducting an administrative investigation.

“At the conclusion of the criminal review and the administrative investigation, additional information will be available,” the release said.

Tempe Officers Association President Rob Ferraro issued a statement in support of the city’s transparency and fairness during the review process.

“The officers of TOA again respectfully ask the members of the community and everyone touched by this incident to withhold judgement until the ongoing review of the case has been completed and all the facts are known,” Ferraro said.

Jaen, who has been with the Tempe Police Department for 14 years, has been on leave during the investigation.

“That he [resigned] — after 17 years of service as a police officer and after serving his country as a U.S. Army combat veteran who fulfilled multiple deployments — should stand as proof of how deeply Officer Jaen has been impacted by this tragedy,” Ferraro said.

“Our thoughts are with him and his loved ones just as they are with the Arce family.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Person planting a 5 foot tree...

KTAR.com

Some residents in Mesa qualify for a free shade tree

Qualifying Mesa residents can now enroll in the city's tree shade program, which offers eligible participants the opportunity to plant a tree in their yard at no cost.

1 hour ago

Teen girl accused of attacking, robbing victim, Gilbert police say...

KTAR.com

Gilbert PD arrest teen girl accused of attacking victim in youth violence case

The Gilbert Police Department said on Tuesday it arrested a teen girl accused of attacking and robbing a victim in September 2023.

3 hours ago

Southbound I-17 was closed for a fatal crash on Feb. 20, 2024. (ADOT Photo)...

KTAR.com

Southbound I-17 reopens just north of metro Phoenix after fatal crash

The southbound I-17 reopened at around 6 p.m. after a fatal crash caused a shutdown, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

6 hours ago

Bob Sanders will officially become the Buckeye police chief on March 3, 2024. (Buckeye Photo)...

KTAR.com

Buckeye appoints new police chief to lead West Valley city

Buckeye announced Tuesday it had promoted Bob Sanders to police chief after serving a decade as deputy police chief in the West Valley city.

6 hours ago

Saiya, at First Avenue and McKinley Street in the Roosevelt Row area, had its last beam placed on t...

KTAR.com

Downtown Phoenix apartment tower Saiya reaches construction milestone

A downtown Phoenix high-rise apartment tower that has been under construction for nearly two years recently reached a milestone ahead of its anticipated summer opening.

7 hours ago

Peso pluma singing on Mesa's Sloan Park stage in 2023....

KTAR.com

Mexican singer Peso Pluma to stop in Phoenix on ‘Exodo’ tour this fall

Mexican singer Peso Pluma announced a stop in Phoenix on his upcoming tour, officials said.

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Tempe officer who fatally shot fleeing teen in January resigns