†††††††††††††††††† †††† Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††††††† 25 Kirkpatrick Street, 3rd Floor, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 08901 (732) 745-3300

 

††††††††††††††††††††††† †††† *News Release*†††††††††††††††† Date: March 28, 2011

 

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Officerís death investigated

 

††††††††† Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Piscataway Police Chief Richard Ivone announced today that a township police officer died after barricading himself in his home and threatening to kill any officer who approached the house during an incident that ended early this morning.

 

††††††††† Sgt. David Powell, 46, of 130 Parkside Avenue, was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:41 a.m. today. He had been a Piscataway police officer for 22 years.

 

While the results of an autopsy are pending, it has been preliminarily determined that Sgt. Powell was the victim of a gunshot wound. Ballistics tests will be performed to determine the source of the shot.

 

The incident began shortly after 3:30 p.m. on March 27, 2011, when Sgt. Powell and members of the police department began exchanging phone calls and text messages asking him to report to police headquarters following a report that he violated a restraining order earlier in the day.

 

Shortly before 4:30 p.m., Sgt. Powell, who was off-duty, said he would not report to headquarters and said he was holding hostages.

 

Police immediately sent officers to the residential neighborhood, cordoned off the streets surrounding Sgt. Powellís home and dispatched members of the departmentís Emergency Services Unit and the Middlesex County Special Operations and Response Team, which is headed by the Middlesex County Prosecutorís Office.

 

During this time, police continued to converse with Sgt. Powell, who declined to surrender. He stepped outside of his home onto his front porch at 6:48 p.m. and, armed with a 9-millimeter submachine gun, fired multiple shots.

 

Police, concerned for the safety of the public and the safety of the possible hostages, fired shots in return.

 

Police continued attempts to communicate, unsuccessfully, with Sgt. Powell. During this time, it also was established there were no hostages.

 

The New Jersey State Police Bomb Unit was notified and, at approximately midnight, sent a robotic device to take images of the front porch.

 

Police determined it was safe to proceed to the house, which was secured. No one else was in the home and no one else was injured.

 

An investigation is continuing and officers remained at the scene throughout the morning.

 

As part of the investigation, the New Jersey Attorney Generalís Office was notified of the shooting, in accordance with state guidelines.

 

Prosecutor Kaplan and Chief Ivone thanked members of the Piscataway Police Department, its Emergency Services Unit and its commander, Sgt. Christian Young, the Special Operations and Response Team, and its commander, Detective Douglas Sprague of the Sayreville Police Department, the New Jersey State Police, and police from Dunellen, Edison and Rutgers University for their assistance.