Newark, NJ, police officers are being praised for not shooting back when one of them was hit with gunfire while serving a warrant last year.

Newark police executed a search warrant on a Goodwin Avenue home on Oct. 14, 2017. During the course of the investigation Detective Joe Soares was shot in the chest. His body armor saved his life.

But neither Soares or other officers fired back after the shooting. They were instead able to de-escalate the situation by backing up and surrounding the house. They were eventually able to convince suspect James Dennard to surrender.

Soares says that it is usually instinct to return gunfire in situations like this.

“If you have a target. But there was no target to engage at that time,” he told News 12. “We can’t do that.”

Police say there was a 2-year-old child in the home during the raid. Officials say that the officers’ restraint prevented a potential tragedy.

“Blessed and proud of our officers in the city of Newark,” Mayor Ras Baraka said after the shooting. “The discipline that they did in being able to go into a house, take on fire and still execute an arrest without firing a weapon one time.”

The October raid will now be used as a case study on how to make sure everyone makes it out of a tense situation alive.

James Dennard was indicted on attempted murder and six other counts.


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