Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Suspected New Jersey Burglar Fires Gun During Fight With Cop: DA

The suspect stole the officer's gun while the two tussled on the ground

Thursday, Aug 15, 2013  |  Updated 5:10 PM EDT
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Alleged Burglar Fires Gun During Fight With Cop

Archie Ashley

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Police in New Jersey say a suspected burglar became violent when an officer caught up with him, stealing the officer's gun from the holster and firing it at close range during a physical struggle.

Police were called to a Franklin Township home for a reported burglary Tuesday night and found the living room window broken and drops of blood on the floor, according authorities.

Officers were dispatched to canvass the area for the suspect, and one saw the suspect, 26-year-old Archie Ashley, walking toward the back of a church on Overbrook Road with blood stains on his shirt, said Somerset County prosecutors. The officer walked out of his marked police car and ordered Ashley to stop.

Ashley complied, but became increasingly aggressive during the stop, authorities said. As the officer told Ashley he was being arrested, a physical altercation ensued and the two wound up on the ground.

Ashley continued to resist arrest and assaulted the officer, then grabbed the officer's duty gun from his holster, according to the prosecutor. He verbally threatened to kill the officer, then fired a shot at close range, barely missing the officer.

Additional patrol officers arrived and as they tried to take the gun from Ashley, he fired a second shot, authorities said. He was finally disarmed, but continued to fight with the officers while on the ground.

All the officers involved were taken to the hospital and were treated and released. The suspect was also taken to the hospital for observation.

Ashley will be charged with attempted murder, disarming a law enforcement officer, weapon possession, resisting arrest and burglary, prosecutors said. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.

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