District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis has announced completion of the investigation into the officer-involved shooting on December 1, 2019. The investigation revealed that at approximately
3:30 P.M., a witness called Luzerne County 911 reporting that her friend, a fifteen-year-old
female, was taken at knifepoint at Greater Nanticoke Area High School. When police arrived,
they encountered twenty-year-old Jordan Oliver holding a knife to the minor female’s throat.
Two Nanticoke officers arrived on scene and initially were able to deescalate the situation.
The female was able to get free and was told to get in the police car. When officers attempted to
take OLIVER into custody, he fought, sprayed them with mace he had concealed on him, and
fled into the nearby, fully marked police SUV. At that time, it appeared that the female had not
entered the vehicle as OLIVER could be seen driving and the passenger seat was vacant.
OLIVER drove the vehicle directly at one officer who discharged his weapon and narrowly
escaped around the front to the passenger side. One of the three (3) rounds fired is believed to
have ricocheted off the center console and grazed OLIVER’s leg.
OLIVER sped away and a search began for OLIVER. In the ensuing investigation, police learned
that OLIVER had three (3) violations of a Protection from Abuse (PFA) Order obtained by his
ex-girlfriend and six (6) violations of a PFA Order obtained by the current victim. On or about
November 27, 2019, OLIVER was released from prison after being arrested for assaulting his
Luzerne County Detectives were notified and the Pennsylvania State Police activated the Special
Emergency Response Team (SERT).
At approximately 10:00 P.M., PSP SERT located OLIVER and the minor female on foot in a
wooded area of Warrior Run. Upon SERT yelling to OLIVER to stop and announcing their
presence, he grabbed the female with one arm around her neck and his other hand tucked
underneath his arm indicating he had a firearm. He took her to the ground shielding his body
with hers. OLIVER threatened to shoot if police did not leave. According to the members of
SERT, the female also told police OLIVER had a firearm.
The negotiator repeatedly attempted to persuade OLIVER to show his hands, release the victim
and surrender. He refused and continued to threaten to kill the victim. Supervisors authorized
deadly force unless OLIVER began to surrender. The decision was made based on the victim
being held hostage, his continued failure to respond to negotiations, and information from both
OLIVER and the victim that he possessed a firearm. OLIVER’s position and threats appeared to
place the hostage in danger of immediate death.
OLIVER did not respond to negotiator requests and kept his hand under his arm against the
victim’s neck. A countdown to fire began and multiple SERT members coordinated
simultaneous deadly force. The team recovered the victim safely. Despite OLIVER’s threats and
the information from the victim, a firearm was not found.
The victim related to investigators that OLIVER also assaulted her in the woods after fleeing the
Nanticoke High School, that she was in fear during the incident and never felt she could escape
In the incident at Greater Nanticoke Area High School, the Nanticoke officer discharged his
weapon as OLIVER drove the police vehicle directly at him placing him at immediate risk of
death or serious bodily injury. As such, this officer’s use of force has been ruled justified.
In the encounter with SERT, the investigation disclosed that OLIVER refused at all times to
relent, release the victim or show his hands. He continuously indicated he had a firearm,
positioned his concealed hand against her neck, and threatened to shoot the victim. The victim
additionally advised that she believed OLIVER had a firearm.
As a result, the victim appeared to be in immediate danger of death and the use of deadly force
by the SERT members has been ruled justified.
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