A 38-year-old off-duty police officer was shot and killed Tuesday when a juvenile accidentally fired off a weapon while the pair were hunting in Sussex County, Daily Voice has learned.
Hamburg police officer Jason Franco, of Montague, was deer hunting near Havens and Lott roads in Wantage around 12:30 p.m. when the incident occurred, according to local and state police. Franco was pronounced dead at the scene, “after an unintentional discharge of a weapon held by a juvenile while deer hunting in a group,” said Lawrence Hajna, of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. “The identity of the juvenile in the party will not be released.” The accident was deemed non-suspicious. The New Jersey Conservation Police in the Division of Fish and Wildlife was handling the investigation. Hamburg police Lt. Jason Tangorra, who hired Franco in April 2018, remembered him as a dutiful officer. “Jason Franco was loved by his family and his colleagues from all surrounding agencies,” Tangorra said. “This was a complete tragedy and he will be missed.” Franco worked as an officer with the William Paterson University Police Department before he was in Hamburg. [view source]