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Family of 14-year-old shot and killed by Tempe officer files lawsuit

The family claims the shooting was unjustified and that the officer used excessive force.

TEMPE, Ariz. — The family of a 14-year-old burglary suspect who was shot and killed almost a year ago is suing the City of Tempe and the officer who shot the teen. 

“My clients want accountability and what they call justice,” said Daniel Ortega, the family’s lawyer.

Last January, former Tempe police officer Joseph Jaen responded to a report of a suspicious car in an alley and saw Antonio Arce rummaging through the back of a pickup truck.

The boy got out and ran away. As he ran, Jaen shot twice.

RELATED: Tempe police show new video of fatally shot 14-year-old possessing fake gun

Tempe police said Jaen thought Arce was armed, but Arce was discovered to have been holding a toy gun.

“There is no question in my mind or in my client’s mind that this was a mistake,” Ortega said.

RELATED: Officer involved in shooting death of 14-year-old Antonio Arce had previous excessive force complaint

But the family says that doesn’t excuse the decision to shoot a 14-year-old running more than 100 feet away. They claim Jaen used excessive force.

“There has to be accountability,” Ortega said.

You can read the full lawsuit in the document below. 

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