In compliance with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Directive 2006-5, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Supplemental Law Enforcement Directive Regarding Uniform Statewide Procedures and Best Practices for Conducting Police Use of Force Investigations dated July 28, 2015 and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Directive 2019-4, this public statement is being issued regarding the November 12, 2018 Mantoloking Borough Police Officer involved shooting of Edward Walsh.
The Office of the Attorney General agrees with Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer that the use of deadly force was legally justified and that there are no material facts in dispute that require presentation of this matter to the Grand Jury.
Officials say on November 12, 2018 at 11:47 A.M., the Lacey Township Police Department contacted the Mantoloking Police Department regarding Edward M. Walsh, who was a wanted person and might be located in Mantoloking. Walsh was wanted by the Sayreville Police Department for Kidnapping; Aggravated Assault; Unlawful Possession of a Weapon; Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose; and Theft by Unlawful Taking for acts against his girlfriend.
His girlfriend reported that during the course of the kidnapping and beating on November 11, 2018, Walsh had shown her a shotgun and told her that he was going to kill her.
Walsh’s friend reported to police that Walsh called him on the morning of November 12th for a ride and that he picked him up in Lacey Township and dropped him off in Mantoloking.
The friend indicated that Walsh was acting paranoid and had a water bottle, soda and roll of paper towels when he dropped him off in Mantoloking. He was unsure if Walsh had a weapon.
Officers from the Mantoloking Police Department, Bay Head Police Department, and Ocean County Sheriff’s Department with a patrol certified canine responded to the Mantoloking residence believing that Walsh would be there.
Detective “A” walked around the house and observed a water bottle, soda, and roll of paper towels outside the rear door of the garage.
He also noted that the doors were locked and undamaged. Detective “A” contacted the owner and obtained keys and consent to enter the residence.
Detective “A” along with one other Mantoloking officer, one Bay Head Police officer and one Ocean County Sheriff’s officer with a police canine “K-9 Kane” proceeded to the rear of the residence and prepared to enter and determine if Walsh
was inside. One officer covered the front of the residence out of eyesight of the other officers.
Detective “A” unlocked and swung the door open and, from police statements and witness accounts, they identified themselves as police officers.
Officer “B” announced the K-9 dog and indicated that he would release the dog and that the dog would bite. Officer “B” entered the garage with K-9 Kane in front of him.
The other officers stacked behind and spread out while Officer “B” and K-9 Kane searched for Walsh. K-9 Kane scented Walsh on a small utility closet door and Officer “B” opened the door towards himself.
Walsh jumped out of the closet, cut his own throat multiple times with a large knife, and then engaged with K-9 Kane.
K-9 Kane attached to Walsh’s left arm and Walsh began stabbing K-9 Kane with the large knife that he had in his right hand. Officer Kohout commanded K-9 Kane to release and return to him.
Walsh then began approaching the officers with the knife simultaneously backing Officer “B” and K-9 Kane into the front corner of the garage. The officers continued yelling “Police, drop the knife!” and Walsh continued to advance on the officers. The four officers then fired their duty weapons and hit Walsh multiple times.
The investigation showed that Walsh walked at least twenty feet from the utility closet doorway toward the officers before being shot. Officers found a large knife with a brown handle next to Walsh and a second knife in his waistband.
The Officers removed the weapons from Walsh’s reach and administered first aid until the ambulance arrived. Officer “B” administered First Aid to K-9 Kane and transported the canine to a veterinary hospital for the treatment.
The Ocean County Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy on Edward Walsh and noted sharp force injuries to the neck consistent with the Officers’ reports that Walsh had slashed his own neck.
The Medical Examiner indicated that the cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds and the manner of death to be homicide. He also indicated that the self-inflicted knife wounds would have ultimately caused his death if left untreated.
The Toxicology Report indicated that Edward M. Walsh’s blood tested positive for Amphetamine, Methamphetamine and THC, with a result of 210 ng/mL, 950 ng/mL and .54 ng/mL, respectively.
A urine screen revealed metabolites for Cocaine, Methamphetamines and Fentanyl.
The report indicated that “Blood levels of 200 to 600ng/mL have been reported in methamphetamine abusers who exhibited violent and irrational behavior.” Again, Walsh’s methamphetamine level was 950 ng/mL.
The Office of the Attorney General and Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer are satisfied that the undisputed facts establish that the Mantoloking Police Officers; the Ocean County Sheriff Officer and the Bay Head Officer involved in this incident were legally justified in the force they used to protect their lives and those of their fellow officers.
This investigation was conducted consistent with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Directive 2006-5, the New Jersey Attorney General’s Supplemental Law Enforcement Directive Regarding Uniform Statewide Procedures and Best Practices for Conducting Police Use of Force Investigations dated July 28, 2015 and the New Jersey Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Directive 2019