NJ officer cleared in shooting that injured 8-year-old girl
An investigation into a non-fatal police shooting in Asbury Park that left an 8-year-old girl wounded when the bullet went through the wall of her bedroom concluded the use of the gun was justified and "clearly necessary."
Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said the officer fired at Dante Allen, 20, after asking to see Allen's hands as he walked along Atkins Avenue holding what the officer suspected to be a gun in his sweatshirt. After getting out of his cruiser and speaking to Allen, Gramiccioni said the officer felt the butt of a gun under Allen's shirt. Allen ran off and the officer chased him to a field where Allen turned and fired a shot at the officer who fired back and hit Allen in the leg according to Gramiccioni.
One of the bullets went through the wall of a Borden Avenue home which is located on the edge of the field, striking and grazing an 8-year-old in the forehead. The girl, whose identity has not been disclosed by police, received stitches for her injuries and was released the same night.
The report concludes that the officer's shots were "clearly necessary to protect him from imminent death or serious bodily injury."
Witnesses told investigators that Allen fired first and the officer shot back. Surveillance video of the incident fully corroborated the officer's story according to authorities.
Testing by the New Jersey State Police Ballistics Unit is not yet complete to determine which weapon fired the bullet that struck the girl.
"When a bullet goes through the barrel it has lancing grooves. You send the bullet for analysis to a ballistics lab and they are able to determine which gun the bullet came from — which takes time," First Monmouth County Prosecutor Marc LeMeiux said earlier.
Allen faces attempted murder and weapons charges in connection with the shooting.