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Officer Joseph Jaen, who shot 14-year-old Antonio Arce in the back, will not be charged

Posted at 10:18 AM, Jan 31, 2020

TEMPE, AZ — Officials have decided the Tempe police officer who shot and killed a teenager as he ran away will not face criminal charges.

In an announcement Friday, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office said Officer Joseph Jaen was justified in shooting 14-year-old Antonio Arce as he ran down an alley on January 15, 2019.

WATCH: Tempe police release body camera video of shooting that killed teen

Officers responded to a neighborhood near 48th Street and Baseline to investigate a reported suspicious vehicle. Officer Jaen was one of the first to arrive and observed Arce breaking into a vehicle.

When Jaen approached, police say Arce took off from the passenger side of the vehicle and started running down the alley with what appeared to be a gun. Police say Arce ignored Jaen's commands and continued running.

RELATED: Memorial held for Antonio Arce, the 14-year-old shot and killed by a Tempe police officer

Police say Arce turned toward Jaen, causing him to perceive a threat and fire his weapon. The body camera video shows Arce never broke his stride while running down the alley and turning a corner.

Arce was found to have a replica model airsoft gun.