NJ police fatally shoot knife-wielding man

Two officers from Ocean County responded to a domestic violence call from the suspect's live-in girlfriend

By PoliceOne Staff

TUCKERTON, N.J. — A knife-wielding domestic violence suspect was fatally shot by police Thursday night.

Two officers from Ocean County responded to a domestic violence call from a woman who neighbors identified as the live-in girlfriend of 35-year-old Steven Theoharides, according to Asbury Park Press.

Officers Brian Olsen and Justin Cherry discharged their firearms when they encountered Theoharides brandishing a 4-inch by 6-inch knife that resembled a meat cleaver, authorities said. Witnesses reported hearing six shots fired.

A divorced mother of three, the girlfriend was injured in the incident and transported to Southern Ocean Medical Center in Stafford along with Olsen and Cherry. All three were evaluated, treated and released.

The prosecutor’s office continues to piece together the details of the incident, and an autopsy is scheduled for today. Both officers have been on the police force for more than 5 years, and they were placed on administrative leave.

“Whether or not the use of deadly force by police in this circumstance, based upon self defense or any other legal justification, was appropriate will be the subject of an exhaustive review,” Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford said.

In 2000, Theoharides was convicted and jailed for aggravated assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, and eluding arrest while operating a motor vehicle, among other charges.

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