Four police officers were justified in fatally shooting a knife-wielding man who stabbed a police dog and then moved threateningly toward the officers, authorities announced Wednesday.
The Ocean County Prosecutor's office made the finding after reviewing the actions of the officers during their confrontation in Mantoloking last November with Edward Walsh, 39, of Manahawkin. The state Attorney General's office also reviewed the case and agreed with the prosecutor's findings.
The officers were among law enforcement members involved in a search for Walsh, who was wanted on kidnapping, aggravated assault and theft charges in connection with an incident involving his girlfriend in Sayreville that occurred the day before he was shot.
Walsh initially fled to Lacey, and authorities there soon learned he was hiding out in a home in Mantoloking. Several officers entered the home and found Walsh armed with a knife, which he refused to drop, authorities have said.
The police dog was released and Walsh stabbed the animal, and officers soon opened fire. Walsh — who also had a self-inflicted knife wound across his neck — was pronounced dead at the scene.
The police dog was treated for its injuries and released the next day. None of the police officers were injured.