What to Know
Police dash cam video shows the tense moments between police and a heavily armed man on a New Jersey bridge last week
The man had a loaded AK-47, a military helmet and body armour, according to police
Throughout the incident, police worked to calm the man, and no gun was ever fired
Police dash cam video obtained exclusively by News 4 New York shows the tense moments between police and a heavily armed man on a New Jersey bridge last week as officers responded to what they think would have been a mass shooting event at a gentlemen's club.
Kevin Papalia, 32, holed himself inside Visions Gentlemen's Club in Sayreville, where he was assistant manager, with a loaded AK-47, a military helmet and body armour, according to police. Workers feared he was planning a shootout before taking his own life.
"He was normal, casual, just a normal guy," said Mike Kish, the manager at the club.
It's not clear why Papalia was so distraught.
"Whether it's a suicidal person, or whatever, that has a gun and it's in a commercial establishment where there are customers and innocent people, I'm concerned," said Sayreville Police Chief John Zebrowski.
The police response played out on Victory Bridge, between Sayreville and Perth Amboy, as officers held back from opening fire after stopping him on the other side of the bridge in Perth Amboy. They ordered Papalia to "get down on your knees, down on your knees."
"This is a local police department, but they very quickly responded," said Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey. "They got people together in the right place, and they took a measured response."
Throughout the incident, police worked to calm Papalia, and no gun was ever fired.
The suspect is still undergoing psychiatric evaluation, but a search of past reports shows he was arrested a decade ago for shooting at people randomly in Old Bridge, though not hitting anyone, and shooting himself in the stomach outside a Seton Hall dorm after a student there broke up with him.