Attorney General’s Office Investigates Police-Involved Shooting in Buena

The Attorney General’s Shooting Response Team is conducting an investigation into the circumstances of a police-involved shooting yesterday afternoon in Buena during which a state trooper discharged his weapon while apprehending a man who allegedly was armed with a handgun. Nobody was injured during the incident.   According to the preliminary investigation, police received a report of gunshots fired shortly after 1 p.m. yesterday, May 2, near the intersection of Routes 40 and 54 in Buena, where there are nearby businesses.  State Police from Buena Station and the Franklin Township Police responded.  The suspect was pursued on foot into a wooded area nearby, where he was apprehended. 

Officials said, during his apprehension, a state trooper discharged his weapon.  Nobody was injured. A handgun was allegedly recovered from the suspect.   According to authorities, a civilian witness reported that, prior to the arrival of police, he was in the vicinity of the Rodeway Inn at Routes 40 and 54 and the suspect allegedly pointed a handgun at him and fired at least one round.   The suspect has been identified as Luis Figueroa, 28, of Blackwood. He was charged with attempted murder, unlawful possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, possession of a weapon as a convicted felon, and resisting arrest by flight. 

Officials said he is being held in the Atlantic County Jail pending a detention hearing.   The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.   In New Jersey, all investigations of police deadly force incidents are governed by the Attorney General's Independent Prosecutor Directive, issued in 2006 and strengthened in 2015, which establishes strict procedures for conducting such investigations.  It requires the Attorney General to review all deadly force investigations, and in some cases conduct them as well. In this case, the investigation is being conducted directly by the Attorney General’s SRT.  The directive further provides that unless the undisputed facts indicate the use of force was justified under the law, the circumstances of the incident must ultimately be presented to a grand jury, composed of 23 civilians, for its independent review.