Fueled by a child custody dispute, a recently divorced Neptune Township police officer shot and killed his former wife in broad daylight on Tuesday in front of their daughter on an Asbury Park, N.J. street, authorities said.
Phillip Seidle, 51, a 22-year veteran with the Neptune Township Police Department, was charged with murder in the shooting death of his ex-wife Tamara Seidle on Sewall Avenue. He has also been charged with unlawful possession of a weapon and endangering the welfare of his 7-year-old daughter first assistant prosecutor Mark LeMieux said.
Seidle, a sergeant with the police department, was arrested after he fired several shots into his ex-wife’s car after a short chase through Asbury Park.
The fatal shooting followed a violent encounter that began when Seidle, with his young daughter in the passenger seat of his car, chased his wife as she was driving through the streets of Asbury Park, LeMieux said.
Here’s how LeMieux described the shooting:
As Tamara Seidle was trying to flee, her vehicle crashed into a parked car on Sewall Avenue. Philip Seidle’s car then crashed into hers, and he got out of the car, pulled out his handgun, and approached her car, immediately firing into the driver’s side several times.
Seidle’s daughter was in his car while he was shooting into her mother’s car.
Once Seidle stopped shooting, he put a gun to his head and started walking around the vehicle, police said. Police, who were nearby investigating an unrelated motor vehicle accident, started talking to Seidle, and got him to agree that they could take his daughter out of the car.
As she was taken away, Seidle then walked to the front of his wife’s car and fired into the windshield.
Seidle then put the gun again to his head, and there was a 30-minute standoff while police attempted to get him to surrender. He did so at 11:52 a.m., LeMieux said.
Eyewitness Michael Terrell described how Seidle ran out to the middle of the street, yelling at his ex-wife about child custody battles.
Township resident Dianna Harris told APP.com Seidle was a popular police officer who cared about the community. Harris, who is president of the Neptune-based Midtown Urban Renaissance Corporation, said Seidle would often visit the non-profit group’s community garden on Monroe Avenue.
“He was a well-respected cop in the area,” said Dianna Harris, a resident and Neptune Zoning Board member. “Nobody knows what triggered this and that’s what makes it so sad.”
According to DataUniverse.com, Seidle, 51, has been with the Neptune Police Department since 1993. He earned $125,704 in 2014. Neptune Police Lt. Michael McGhee declined comment, referring inquiries to the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office and the Asbury Park Police Department.
Photo source : APP.com