2 U.S. Marshals cleared by grand jury for fatally shooting armed man in Jersey City


Two deputy U.S. Marshals on the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force were cleared by a state grand jury for fatally shooting an armed man in Jersey City last summer, deciding the use-of-force was justified.

Photo via policeofficer.org.

By John Heinis/Hudson County View

After hearing the testimony and evidence, the grand jury concluded its deliberations on May 20th, and voted “no bill,” meaning jurors concluded no criminal charges should be filed against the two deputy U.S. marshals, whose names were not released.

According to the investigation, members of the Task Force were in Jersey City to assist the Orlando City Police Department in locating and arresting Esteban DeJesus, 56, of Orlando, Florida.

He was wanted for murder and attempted murder in connection with a shooting of two victims on July 7th, 2023, in Orlando. At approximately 11:10 p.m. on July 8th, two deputy U.S. Marshals and a state trooper assigned to the task force encountered DeJesus in the area of Jefferson Avenue in Jersey City.

According to statements of the involved officers, DeJesus approached them armed with a machete, disregarding their commands to drop it.

The two deputy U.S. Marshals fired their service weapons, striking DeJesus. He was transported to Jersey City Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:44 p.m. The machete was recovered and secured as evidence.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office announced the matter was under investigation back on July 9th, 2023.

DeJesus’ death was investigated by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA) and presented to New Jersey residents serving on the grand jury in accordance with the Independent Prosecutor Directive of 2019.

In July 2021, OPIA issued standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure these grand jury presentations are conducted in a neutral, objective manner, with appropriate transparency regarding the process, consistent with the directive.

The investigation included interviews, photographs, ballistics, and autopsy results from the medical examiner. This evidence was presented to a state grand jury.

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