MAURICE RIVER, N.J. – The Attorney General’s Shooting Response Team is conducting an investigation into the circumstances surrounding a fatal police-involved shooting early this morning in Maurice River, Cumberland County, which occurred when state troopers attempted to arrest an alleged burglar and a violent struggle ensued. The decedent was identified as Jimmy L. Testa, 31, of the Leesburg section of Maurice River.
According to the preliminary investigation, a 911 call was received at approximately 12:20 a.m. reporting a burglary in an unoccupied house at 147 High Street in the Leesburg section of Maurice River. Two troopers from the Port Norris barracks of the New Jersey State Police responded to the location. One of the troopers encountered the suspect, later identified as Testa, fleeing from the back of the house and a struggle ensued. Testa broke free and ran behind a house across the street. The troopers pursued Testa and another struggle occurred as they tried to arrest him in the yard behind the second house, which was cluttered with scrap metal and junk. A civilian witness described the struggle as extremely violent. The troopers wrestled with Testa and one trooper used pepper spray in an effort to subdue him, but it did not appear to have any effect. Testa’s violent resistance allegedly continued until one of the troopers fired a single round from his service handgun striking Testa in the upper body. A steel pipe believed to have been used by Testa as a weapon was recovered where he was shot and taken into evidence. Testa was treated by medics and pronounced dead at the scene. The troopers were treated at Inspira Medical Center in Elmer.
No further details of the shooting are being released at this time because of the ongoing investigation.
The incident remains under investigation by the Attorney General’s Shooting Response Team. Under Attorney General Directives, the Shooting Response Team, made up of deputy attorneys general, detectives of the Division of Criminal Justice, and detectives of the State Police Major Crime Unit, are dispatched to the scene to handle investigations of shootings involving state troopers or officers employed by county prosecutors as detectives/investigators or members of county SWAT teams and task forces.
The Attorney General Directives governing investigations of police-involved shootings are located at the following links:
Follow the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office online at Twitter, Facebook, Instagram & YouTube. The social media links provided are for reference only. The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office does not endorse any non-governmental websites, companies or applications.