An alleged burglar was shot to death by New Jersey State Police early Sunday morning after a reportedly violent struggle with officers in Cumberland County, according to authorities.

Jimmy L. Testa, 31, was reportedly shot once by a trooper during an outdoors struggle with state police and later pronounced dead at the scene, according to a news release from the Attorney General's office.

Testa was said to have fled the scene of a burglary in the Leesburg section of the Maurice River township around 12:20 a.m., shortly after police arrived in the area.

According to the preliminary investigation, two State Troopers from the Port Norris barracks responded to a 911 call concerning the burglary of an unoccupied house at 147 High Street in the Leesburg section of Maurice River at about 12:20 am.

One of the troopers encountered the suspect as Testa was fleeing from the back of the house and a struggle ensued, police said.

Testa was able to break free and run behind a house across the street, according to police.

The troopers chased after Testa and attempted to arrest him in the yard behind the second house, which was cluttered with scrap metal and junk, police said.

A second struggle, described to police by a civilian witness as “extremely violent” ensued.

One trooper attempted to subdue Testa using pepper spray, but it didn’t work, police said.

The struggle continued until one of the officers fired a single round from his service handgun striking Testa in the upper body, according to police.

Police recovered a steel pipe they allege Testa used as a weapon.

Testa was pronounced dead at the scene.

The troopers were treated at Inspira Medical Center in Elmer.


SOURCE: Attorney General's office