Tempe Teen Death Ruled a Homicide, Report Says, But Police Officer Will Not Face Charges

teen Antonio Arce homicide

Photo of Antonio Arce from Facebook, and an official Tempe Police photo of former officer Joseph Jaen

By Alicia Barrón

May 6, 2020

The death of a teenaged boy shot by a Tempe police officer has been ruled a homicide, according to this Maricopa County Office of the Medical Examiner report.

The report, issued on April 3, lists 14-year-old Antonio Arce’s cause of death as being a single gunshot wound to the torso. 

The boy was allegedly shot and killed by then-Tempe Officer Joseph Jaen on Jan. 16, 2019. Jaen has since resigned as a Tempe police officer.

RELATED: No Consequences For Tempe Cop Who Killed Teen Holding a Toy Gun

In January, the Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel announced during a news conference that Jaen would not face charges in Arce’s fatal shooting. 

Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell, at the times, said in a press release, “The decision not to prosecute Joseph Jaen must be devastating to Antonio’s parents and family. While County Attorney Adel has decided not to pursue charges in this matter, that does not make the events of Jan. 15, 2019 any less tragic.”

Jaen reportedly found the teen inside a truck as he responded to a suspicious person call. Body-cam footage then shows Arce getting out of the truck and running away from Jaen. The boy collapsed soon after being struck by a bullet. 

The body-cam footage showed Arce running with what appeared to be a fake gun under his arm because it had an orange tip. 

The boy’s parents have since filed a lawsuit against the City of Tempe and the Tempe Police Department.

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