Police shooting of man on porch deemed ‘reasonable,’ ‘necessary’
A police shooting of a man on the front porch of his Byram home last summer has been deemed "reasonable, justified and necessary."
Sussex County Prosecutor Gregory R. Mueller conducted an investigation of the June, 2015 incident, in which he said police responded to the home of Ronald Neal for reports of gunshots heard coming from inside the home.
Neal told three responding officers he had firearms, which he later brought out the porch, Mueller said in a description of his findings released by the prosecutor's office Thursday. Neal then tossed a handgun to the officers and dared them to shoot him, Mueller said.
After a back-and-forth with the officers, Neal picked up one of guns on the porch, fired it straight into the air and then pointed it at one of the officers, Mueller said. Another officer then shot at Neal, who was hospitalized and later died, according to Mueller.
An friend of Neal's who knew him for 10 years later told police he had talked with Neal on the phone, and believed Neal was had been drinking, Mueller said.
According to Mueller, Neal was upset because his friend would not come over.
The friend also told police that Neal had previously talked about having a similar standoff with police to get someone to "remove him from the planet," Mueller said.
Mueller said neighbors also praised the responding officers for acting "professionally and calmly."
No criminal charges will be filed, and the case will not be presented to a grand jury, Mueller said.