NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – The Middlesex County Prosecutor will not charge two Franklin Township police officers in the shooting death of Diahlo Grant, the office announced Monday.
“The investigation concerning the use of deadly force in this matter determined that the level of force utilized was justifiable under N.J.S.A. 2C: 3-4, (Use of Force in Self Protection), and N.J.S.A. 2C:3-7(a) (Use of force justifiable to effect an arrest),” the public statement read. “Specifically, Diahlo Grant, who had outstanding warrants for his arrest, was armed with a handgun and fired the handgun at the officer. Based on these facts, the officer had a reasonable belief that in the absence of such level of force, he and other officers present at the scene were in jeopardy of incurring serious bodily injury or death.”
Grant, 27, of the Somerset section of Franklin Township, died after exchanging gunfire with police in the early morning hours of April 9 during a confrontation on Somerset Street in the city, police said.
According to police, two Franklin Township officers initially saw Grant at 1:30 a.m. on Home Street in Franklin, knowing there were warrants out for his arrest, including failure to pay child support in Middlesex County and probation violations for drug offenses out of Somerset County.
Police also said that Grant was a suspect in a February 15 shooting in the township that injured a male victim.
As the officers approached, police said that Grant fled on foot, resulting in a pursuit that took them to the border between Middlesex and Somerset counties.
Police said that Grant went into a creek and the officers continued the pursuit in their vehicle.
The officers then saw a motion-activated light go on and heard the rattle of a chain link fence near a private residence, police said.
They approached the home and saw Grant trying to get into the house through a door.
After refusing the officers’ verbal commands to get on the ground, police say, Grant turned toward them with a black revolver, firing a shot at the officers.
One of the officers returned fire, shooting six times and hitting Grant multiple times, according to police.
The officers immediately performed CPR on Grant until he was taken to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, where he was pronounced dead at 3:17 a.m., police said.
Investigating officers recovered the black gun with one shot discharged, and a bullet was later recovered from the exterior wall of a house behind where the officers were standing during the confrontation, police said.
Police said they were able to match the ballistics of the bullet to the one pulled from the Feb. 15 shooting victim.
Investigators also recovered photos of Grant brandishing the same weapon from his cell phone, police said.
The investigation also included a canvass of the area for witnesses and a review of the officers’ training in the use of deadly force, police said.
Investigators from the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office took the lead in the case because the shooting took place in New Brunswick, police said.
The decision not to prosecute the officers was also reviewed by the state’s Director of Criminal Justice Elie Honig, the announcement said.