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