Shooting an Evesham Police officer there to check on his well being sends a Marlton man to a state prison for the next five years, according to the Burlington County Prosecutors Office.

Evesham Police and Fire went to the apartment of Jeffrey R. Wass, 55, after someone made a call reporting the smell of gas on May 24, 2017.

Investigators found him on the couch and the gas stove burners on but not lit.

When police asked to come at the door, Wass said no.

When police called him on the phone, an officer ran to the door and asked Wass to answer the phone.

He didn't want to do that either.

Wass pulled out a gun and shot at him and missed from inside the apartment.

Officers took cover and, after multiple unsuccessful attempts to re-initiate contact with Wass over the course of several hours, a tactical robot was deployed by New Jersey State Police.

Images transmitted by the robot showed Wass incapacitated on his sofa.

Entry was then made, Prosecutors say, and Wass was safely taken into custody.

A 9-mm pistol was recovered inside the apartment during the execution of a search warrant.

PSE&G was called to the scene to shut down gas and electric service to the entire building to prevent an explosion.

Wass must serve 42 months before becoming eligible for parole under the Graves Act.

He plead guilty in February to one count of Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose (Second Degree).

Assistant Prosecutor Matt Lynch told the Hon. Jeanne T. Covert, P.J.Cr., that Wass had problems with alcohol that, "drove him to a dark place on that day where he could have killed himself as well as some of the officers who came to help him."

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Prosecutor Michael Angermeier, supervisor of the BCPO Gun Violence Unit.

The investigation was conducted by the Burlington County Prosecutor's Office and the Evesham Township Police (NJ) Department, with assistance from the New Jersey State Police.

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