LOGAN TOWNSHIP, N..J (AP) — Seven police officers were justified in the fatal shooting of an armed man who held two women hostage for several hours at a UPS processing center in southern New Jersey last year, according to the state attorney general’s office.
William Owens, 39, of Sicklerville, was killed as he left the building with the women in January 2019. He was shot by members of a Gloucester County SWAT when he chased one of the women and shot her at least once. authorities said.
The women were not seriously injured in the episode in Logan Township, about 20 miles (30 kilometers) south of Philadelphia.
The officers believed “their actions were immediately necessary to protect the hostage and others from death or serious bodily harm,” the attorney general’s office said in a written statement Wednesday. Officials said that because the “undisputed facts” indicated the use of force was justified, the shooting did not need to be reviewed by a grand jury.
Authorities have said Owens previously had a relationship with one of the women and confronted her when he entered the business. He followed her inside, grabbed her, fired a 9mm handgun into the air, pistol-whipped a male security guard and told the woman he was going to kill her.
Other employees fled when he fired twice more. Owens then pointed his gun at others, took a second woman hostage and said “he would kill everybody there,” authorities said.