A Neptune Township, New Jersey police officer named Phillip Seidle allegedly shot and killed his estranged wife in the presence of their seven-year-old daughter on Wednesday—and reports say that other law enforcement agents on the scene took no action to stop Seidle from firing shots at the victim in their presence, with some officers even hugging and comforting him when he surrendered. From a NJ.com account that quotes prosecutor Marc LeMieux:
At around 11:30 a.m., Asbury Park police officers … saw a 2012 black Volkswagen Jetta being driven by Tamara Seidle turn onto Sewall Avenue. Behind it, LeMieux said, was Phillip Seidle in a 2005 Honda Pilot.
The couple’s 7-year-old daughter was in Phillip Seidle’s passenger seat, he said.
Tamara Seidle crashed her Jetta into an unoccupied green Ford Focus, LeMieux said. At that time, LeMieux said, Phillip Seidle got out of his car, took out his .40- caliber Glock service handgun and fired “several” shots into Tamara’s Seidle’s car.
LeMieux said that Seidle fired again at his wife after his daughter was taken away by fellow officers, and confirmed the accounts of witnesses who told the Asbury Park Press that no attempt was made to use force against Seidle as he fired this second round of shots:
Officers on the scene recognized Seidle, LeMieux said. When asked by the Asbury Park Press why no police force was used to stop Seidle from firing his weapon a second time, LeMieux responded by saying “that is under investigation.”
Tamara Seidle suffered multiple gunshot wounds and died.
Citing a witness, NJ.com reports that other officers “hugged [Phillip Seidle] and patted him comfortingly on the back” when he was eventually taken into custody at the scene.