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Jackson Cop Who Shot Knife-Wielding Suspect Identified

JACKSON-Two days before Christmas, Jackson police officers were dispatched to a home on Laurel Avenue, in a sleepy lakeside neighborhood of the township.

Around 8pm, on December 23rd, police received a 911 call reporting that a  male subject armed with a knife was inside the residence threatening hostages.  According to a report by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office,

Six Jackson police officers responded.  After a tense standoff, Police Sergeant Wayne Olerjarz was the officer who pulled the trigger, reportedly hitting the man in the leg.

Travis Van Pelt was sent to the hospital with a single gunshot wound.  Authorities did not say how many shots were fired in total.

“Members of the Jackson Township Police Department responded to 37 Laurel Avenue. Upon their arrival, the responding officers entered the residence where they encountered a man later identified as Travis Van Pelt age 22 of 37 Laurel Avenue wielding a knife in a threatening manner,” according to a report by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office.  “The responding officer(s) fired upon Mr. Van Pelt striking him at least one time. While encountering Mr. Van Pelt, Officers also located other occupants within the residence. Subsequently, Mr. Van Pelt was transported to an area hospital where he remains listed in stable condition.”

According to sources close to the investigation, the incident is being investigated as a possible attempted suicide by police officer.

File Photo- Jackson Police Cruiser. Matthew Genovese, JTOWN Magazine.

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