Piscataway Police Officer Dies After 10-Hour Standoff

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A Piscataway police officer is dead following a 10-hour standoff with his colleagues.

WCBS 880’s Levon Putney: Neighbor Not Surprised

img 2902 Piscataway Police Officer Dies After 10 Hour Standoff

(Photo/Steve Sandberg)

Officials said Detective Sgt. David L. Powell, a 22-year-veteran of the force and member of the SWAT Team, barricaded himself  in his Parkside Avenue home around 3:15 p.m. Sunday and threatened to kill any officers who approached the residence.

Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce Kaplan says the incident began after the 46-year-old off-duty officer refused to go to police headquarters to respond to a report that he had violated a restraining order earlier in the day.

Piscataway police officers made their way down to the home after Powell claimed he had a hostage. They cordoned off surrounding streets and talked with Powell.

Around 7 p.m., Powell walked onto his front porch and fired multiple shots from a 9-millimeter submachine gun, Kaplan said. Police returned fire.

Through the evening hours, police continued trying to establish communication with Powell but were unsuccessful.

A robotic device was eventually sent in and officers determined no one else was in the home and that it was safe to approach.

Neighbors tell 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg that Powell was a loose cannon

Police said Powell was pronounced dead at the scene at 1:41 a.m. of a gunshot wound. Ballistics tests will be performed to determine whether he shot himself or was killed by officers.

Powell, 46, is the father of two children, 19 and 9. Neighbors said Powell had just gone through a divorce and was dealing with other legal issues.

  • Speak soflty

    Seems like Mr Steve info ONLY KNOWS ONE THING……that David “threw his 9 year old daughter out on the streets”, REALLY??

    Rest in peace David. Mrs. Powell, I pray your heart heals in time and that Dave’s two beautiful children whom love and miss their dad terribly, can someday be whole again.

  • chris

    I completely agree with steve info, why is it that candidates who have a solid mentality and a tactical way of thinking cannot get into the academy but dipshits like this can. The amount of political and police corruption in central new jersey is of the highest. Also, family court matters in middlesex county are handled very poorly as many of the judges in the court system in new brunswick are extremely corrupt as I have witnessed first hand and also been informed by sheriffs for the county who work for as such. My heart goes out to his ex wife, kids and fellow family members. I believe if u cannot handle your personal life and problems in a manner that dignifies a badge and 9mm glock the candidate should not be allowed to represent local or federal law as it just adds to the stress. Police officers are notoriously unfathful to their spouses and figure they can do whatever they want and are above the law, u violate a granted tro u go to county jail period, the corruption needs to end as this is one way or form of such.

  • hka brother

    RIP my HKA brother. We all have our problems and apparently yours were to great to overcome. Good or bad right or wrong you will be in our thoughts forever. Never judge a man until you have walked in his shoes and know the entire story!!!!!!!!

  • Real Talk

    Police should have to leave their issued pistols at the department. if they want a gun at home get it licensed and keep it at home. i didn’t know officer Powell, but ensinuating you have hostages you must be looking for a bad outcome. Police are NOT above the law and should be treated like everyone else. I feel for his family just like I felt for the family of the boy who was killed in Plainfield by the police in a shootout. where was all the support for him. Piscataway Police did their jobs to the best of their abilities it could of been a lot worse. what if he shot a kid or another officer when he opened fire. Then we’d be mourning someone else. So sad! R.I.P. Officer Powell I’m sure a piece of your fellow officers died along with you.

  • PAWZ

    Never judge a person until you walk a mile in their shoes. My heart goes out to his fellow officers who must be devasted over the fact that they exchnged gun fire with a friend, colleague and supervisor that they work with closely over the years. RIP

    • Moral Truth

      Sure its ok for police to abuse power?

      and that’s the moral truth.

  • Moral Truth

    Some of these cops think who they hell they are and get away with murder epsecially violating restraining orders.

    This cop was indeed one dumb total moron who thought he was above the law and that’s the moral truth.

    • Danelle Davis

      What the HELL is wrong with you?

      • Moral Truth

        nothing. telling it like it is and that’s the moral truth.

    • Anthony Appello

      I knew this man and he was a good person. you have no idea what was going through his mind and the problems he went through. Its a shame that people like you would comment on something you know nothing of.

      I hope you never have to go through what he did. I dont condone what he did in the end but I knew him he was a friend and a good cop until the end. He was a human in the end and we all have our limits. I will miss David and I only wish I could have tried to talk to him before the end.

      Its a shame you made that comment but its your right although I disagree.

      I hope he found his peace and I feel bad for his children. I will always remember him the way I knew him and will never forget him

      Rest in peace brother. # 1082

      Your friend, Anthony

  • MikeMNYC

    Don’t they have any sense there? Why even bother him. They call, and he doesn’t want to come in, fine, just protect the person who has the order of protection and wait for his next shift to talk with him. To have someone dead over this type of stuff is sickening. They know when he is due in next, they know he is a cop and has a gun, they know how to protect people. As soon as he shows he is not stable enough to come in, just leave him alone, protect the other person, and wait until his next shift. To go to his house for an armed confrontation has to be the most stupid response possible.

    • sbt

      To: MikeMNYC,

      I’m always about thinking of effective ways of solving the problem and not dragging it on and your point of view makes lots of sense. Your ideas would have never occurred to me and I’m grateful that you expressed them. They make so much sense.

      Your point of view reminds me of the concept that the movie irobot touches about making decisions that carry the best outcome. I wish we as human could utilize both the irobot mentality along with the human point of view; I think we could probably be happier and live more harmonious lives. Thanks for opening my mind to a different view.

      I know the family personally and I know how much they are suffering; we are all human with many defects and also many wonderful attributes; love always prevails.

      David RIP.

  • Gov. Krispy Kreme

    i hear this was over the fact he didn’t want to contribute 0.0000000000001% more to his health insurance plan, he thought fairness was unfair.

    • jerk alert


  • mjmjr


    • steveinfo

      what does divorce laws have to do with this? he threatened to harm his ex-wife and his daughter! what about their rights?

  • Frank

    It is doubtful that a “submachine gun” was involved. A reporter should attempt to verify the claim attributed to the prosecutor.

  • 1608

    I who unlocked the cage and let the test tube baby’s out?

  • suzan

    Very sad and tragic

  • steveinfo

    Why is it that people are blaming the family court system and attorneys? What cant this man be held responsible for his own actions? He was not a good man. I know this for a fact. People should not be drawing conclusions. He was emotionally unstable and should not have been allowed to carry a gun. I am surprised his career was not ended long ago when his emotional troubles started!

    • CMC

      You know Steve, while you are making judgments about other people you don’t have to look at yourself.

      • Mary Ferraez

        I AGREE CMC… STEVE, GET A LIFE… Dave was a good man… I don’t know all that was going on at this stage of his life, but his neighbors are liars… maybe you are one of them?? and his family is now mourning a major loss, regardless of the issues that were there – have a little more compassion…

      • steveinfo

        I am not making judgments about anyone. I speak from fact. As far as I am concerned anyone who throws his nine year old daughter out into the street is not a good man. I know more about this man then you could even imagine. And for what its worth—he had this all planned and invited his own demise.

    • dubs

      you obviously do NOT know him for a fact. get over yourself. RIP sgt powell.

      • steveinfo

        Yes I do know him for a fact—and you people are obviously the ones blinded by his outward appearance. I have all the details of this incident both prior to, during and after. A man is not a good man when he throws his 9 years old daughter out into the street! This man had no business coming within 50 feet of a gun. He knew he should have violated the restraining order and did so anyway. The police department had no right to reinstate this officer after he was suspended for 60 days! No you go on with your bad self and stop slinging mud at me!

  • Ed Clay

    Sometimes life just sucks! It is a sad ending to a life. I do not understand how a person can get to that but then I was not walking in his shoes.

  • 1608

    Remember the police are only people, good or bad. What ever the problem was, R.I.P.

  • WhiteboyFTW

    All cop off duty should have to leave there guns at work before they go home like they do in SF especially the NYPD.I am going to talk with Mayor Mike B about this ..

    • Ed Clay

      WhiteboyFTW, what a really stupid thing to say!!!! A cop leaving his weapon? You back on the pipe again.

    • JR

      Stupid! Then can go buy their own personal ones fool! If stupidty was a crime, you would be in jail.

  • JB

    Sad story. I wish police policy was to be as close mouthed and protective of other incidents like this when it does not involve someone “on the job”. If they can keep the lid on this incident, and rightfully so, they can be as respectful and silent about these incidents with the general public.

  • Mot

    Another good man dead, compliments of your friendly neighborhood family court system and heartless wife and the attorney’s who have an agenda. Rest in peace Sir.

    • steveinfo

      He was not a good man. Why would you blame the courts, a wife or attorneys for this?

  • josh

    cal what is wrong with u?! and ur comments?

  • Ondalevel

    L Steeter Edwards, don’t let Cal hook you, he is probably 12 years old. RIP fellow officer….your in a better place now.

  • IS

    The police were camped out on my parents lawn so I am so relieved this has finally ended but I feel so sorry for the deceased officer and his family. My heart goes out to them. God Bless.

  • piscataway

    sucks thats the first thing you think of. he is and was a good man

    • L Streeter Edwards

      How do you know who he is or was?

    • steveinfo

      do you think throwing your 9 year old daughter out onto the street makes a man good? he was not a good man—and if you think he was—then you did not know him very well

  • CAL

    Question: will all the tickets this criminal or insane cop ever issue be canceled now? Or Piscataway Court will just keep all the money this crazy cop collected for the city? If I were a lawyer, I would definitely look into that situation.

    • Jnb

      I hope he wrote you many tickets and that ALL of thewm are enforced to the letter of the law,…

    • L Streeter Edwards

      Perhaps we now know why you are not a lawyer.

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