Investigation: Police Cleared In Shooting Of Alleged Kidnapper

Photo by Tony Caputo, News 12 New Jersey - Used with Permission

  MANTOLOKING – Edward M. Walsh, 39, was shot dead by police after a standoff in which a K-9 was injured. A statement from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office detailed the events that led up to Walsh’s death. It was part of an investigation to determine if lethal force was justified in the case. The Prosecutor’s Office decided that it was.

  The incidences leading up to his death started on Nov. 11, 2018 when he allegedly kidnapped his girlfriend and threatened to kill her. He was wanted by Sayreville Police for Kidnapping; Aggravated Assault; Unlawful Possession of a Weapon; Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose; and Theft by Unlawful Taking. His girlfriend had told police that he had kidnapped and beat her, and showed her a shotgun and told her he was going to kill her.

  A friend of the deceased told police that Walsh called him for a ride on the morning of Nov. 12. The friend picked him up in Lacey and dropped him off in Mantoloking. Walsh was allegedly acting paranoid.

  According to a prior police report, he was at the Mantoloking location because he was previously married to a family member of the prior owner.

Photo courtesy Ocean County Sheriff’s Department

  Lacey police contacted Mantoloking police and a group of officers from Mantoloking, Bay Head, and the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department went to the home. The house was locked up but police obtained keys from the owner (who was not Walsh), and were given consent to enter the residence.

  The officers announced themselves and entered the residence. An officer and K-9 Kane came in through the garage. Kane sniffed Walsh out in a small utility closet. When the officer opened the door, Walsh jumped out.

  Walsh cut his own throat with a knife and then fought Kane. Kane latched on to Walsh’s arm and Walsh stabbed him with the knife. The officer ordered Kane to release and return to him.

  Walsh approached the officers with the knife, while police ordered him to drop it. In the end, the four officers fired and killed Walsh.

  The officers conducted first aid on Walsh, but he passed away. They also conducted first aid on Kane, who was taken to Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in Tinton Falls for his injuries and made a full recovery. It was later determined that Walsh had a second knife on him.

  His autopsy backed up reports of the self-inflicted knife wounds to his neck, and suggested that they might have been fatal if left untreated. The toxicology report found amphetamine, methamphetamine, and THC. It also indicated that cocaine and fentanyl had been in the body recently. Blood levels of methamphetamine users who became violent or irrational have been found to be between 200 and 600 ng/mL (nanogram to milliliter). Walsh’s blood tested at 950 ng/mL.

  All of these facts were used in the investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office to determine that lethal force was justified in the incident.