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Medical examiner releases report after death of Antonio Arce, teen shot by Tempe officer

Posted at 10:07 AM, May 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-06 20:55:21-04

TEMPE, AZ — Medical examiners have released a report a year and a half after the death of Antonio Arce, a teenager who was shot and killed by a Tempe police officer.

Officials determined 14-year-old Arce died from a gunshot wound to the torso in a homicide that occurred in January 2019, according to the report obtained Wednesday.

Toxicology results show alcohol was in Arce’s system.

"If he had anything to drink, how relevant is that to whether he should have been shot?" said family attorney Danny Ortega. "At the end of the day, whether he's been drinking or not, this police officer should not have shot him. The city of Tempe has said he shouldn't have shot him. Whether he'd been drinking has no relevance to this."

Earlier this year, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office said Officer Joseph Jaen was justified in shooting Arce as he ran down an alley on January 15, 2019.

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.