A trooper shot at a group of fleeing teens as they drove away from his home in Sparta, New Jersey.
According to the New Jersey Herald, the off-duty New Jersey State Police trooper Kissinger Barreau fired three shots at the teens before pursuing them in his personal vehicle, after they knocked on his door by mistake while looking for the house, where a party they were invited to, was taking place.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, the incident took place on Sunday at approximately 2:00 a.m. 18-year-old John Marasco and two friends arrived at Barreau’s home, hoping to find their friend. However, they found an out-of-control man shouting profanities at them.
Realizing their mistake, the three boys turned to return to their car, only to notice a red laser floating around. When they turned back to Kissinger’s house, they saw him standing on the porch with a gun in his hand.
“At this point we’re freaking out, ‘It’s a gun, it’s a gun,'” Jesse Barkhorn, one of the other boys with Marasco, said. “I was like, ‘Dude, get out of here.'”
The teens peeled out of the driveway, as what has now been reported as three bullets came soaring towards them. Luckily, none of the bullets hit the teens, however one did lodge itself into their vehicle’s tire.
— OPD News Feed (@OPDNewsFeed) July 30, 2015
Approximately a mile down the road, they stopped to call their parents and the police to notify them about what had just taken place. Not long after, they heard a helicopter and sirens. However, in a strange turn of events, they quickly realized that it wasn’t the crazed gun-slinging man they were looking for. Rather, it was them.
The police eventually arrested the trio for suspected burglary. They were booked and held for nearly nine hours before it was determined that they were not actually criminals.
Former Union County Prosecutor Ted Romankow and former Morris County Prosecutor Robert Bianchi said there is little that can justify an off-duty trooper shooting at a group of teenagers, according to NJ.com.
“This officer should have controlled himself,” Romankow, who is now a defense attorney based in Springfield, said. “To start waving a gun and shooting, I think is beyond the pale.”
Peter Gilbreth, a prominent defense attorney in Morristown, said the outcome of the investigation could hinge on whether or not Kissinger felt that his life was at risk.
“If the officer felt that he was at risk, personally… the whole sort of self-defense concept kicks in,” said Gilbreth, a former prosecutor.
“I’m sure the officer is going to say there’s something that happened at the door that gave rise to him going out the door with his gun,” Gilbreth added. “There’s got to be more to this story.”
Do you think the trooper should be charged for shooting at the fleeing teens? Leave your comments below.
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