BUENA VISTA — State authorities say a New Jersey police officer will not face any charges in the shooting death of a driver who stole a police car after a crash last year and led officers on a chase that ended after he was shot and killed.

The state Attorney General's Office said last week a state grand jury had declined to bring charges in the death of 42-year-old Roy Jackel, who was shot and killed by a Franklin Township police officer in Buena Vista in April 2021.

Authorities said police from multiple jurisdictions responded to a crash in Buena Vista, but one of the drivers fled into the woods, threatening to shoot police if they came any closer. Officials said he later emerged with “a large pitchfork-like tool," stole an unoccupied police vehicle and fled, and a brief pursuit ensued.

Officials said Jackel eventually stopped the police vehicle, got out and “initially walked toward the officers with his right hand behind his back. As he got closer Mr. Jackel began to run toward the officers, continuing to hold his right arm behind his back and ignoring commands to show his hands." The officer fired, and Jackel died at the scene.

Authorities said an officer can use deadly force “when the officer reasonably believes it is immediately necessary to protect the officer or another person from imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm." The state grand jury considered evidence, testimony and the legal standard and decided no charges were warranted, officials said.

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