In accordance with the Supplemental Law Enforcement Directive Amending Attorney General Law Enforcement Directive No. 2006-5, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office is releasing the following statement regarding a police shooting in Winslow.
The investigation conducted by the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office revealed that on January 25, 2015, Winslow Officer #1 responded to a 911 call for a report of a man holding a gun to a female’s head at 335 New Brooklyn Road in Winslow Township, New Jersey. Winslow Officer #1, who was in uniform, responded in a marked patrol car. The 911 call was placed by the adult son of the female who resides at that location.
Upon Winslow Officer #1’s arrival at the residence, a female ran toward Winslow Officer #1’s patrol car yelling, “He has a gun!” A second individual, later identified as William Campbell, pursued the female toward Winslow Officer #1’s patrol car. At this time, Campbell, who was in possession of a loaded .38 Special revolver, raised his firearm toward Winslow Officer #1. Winslow Officer #1 immediately ordered Campbell to drop his gun. When William Campbell continued toward Winslow Officer #1 and the female with his gun raised, Winslow Officer #1 fired one round which struck and killed William Campbell.
The encounter between Campbell and the female began earlier that morning. The female, who owns the property, lived in the upstairs apartment while Campbell, who the female had known all her life, lived in the first floor apartment. Since 2014, the female permitted Campbell to live on the property rent free. The female had made arrangements for a contractor to come to the property and measure for new windows on the morning of January 25, 2015. Before the contractor arrived, she went to Campbell’s apartment to advise him someone was coming to take measurements. Campbell grabbed the female by the throat and said she was not leaving the apartment. The female left Campbell’s apartment and walked to her car. Campbell followed her outside, pulled out a gun and said he would blow her head off if she did not put the residence in his name. He also stated he would kill the contractor if the contractor showed up.
During this encounter, the female managed to communicate with her boyfriend and her adult son utilizing her cell phone to both call and text each man. Her son called the police. In the meantime, the contractor arrived. The female advised the contractor he would have to come back another time. The contractor noticed that Campbell stayed very close to the female during his conversation with her and he thought he saw a gun in Campbell’s hand. As the contractor left the residence, he saw a marked Winslow Township Police Department patrol car in the area. He approached the vehicle and spoke with Winslow Officer #1, advising the officer of what had occurred moments before. As Winslow Officer #1 was calling this incident out over the radio, the 911 call from the female’s son was received and officers were dispatched for a report of a man with a gun held to a woman’s head. Winslow Officer #1 proceeded to the residence.
Very shortly after the contractor left the residence, the female, who was still outside with Campbell, heard a police siren and saw Winslow Officer #1’s patrol car approaching. She ran toward the patrol car yelling that Campbell had a gun. Campbell chased the female and raised his gun toward the female and Winslow Officer #1. Winslow Officer #1, who was just exiting the patrol car, ordered Mr. Campbell to drop his gun. Campbell continued to pursue the female and did not drop his raised gun. Winslow Officer #1 fired a single round, striking Campbell in the head. The female later stated she believed Winslow Officer #1 saved her life.
Based upon the results of this investigation, Camden County Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo determined that the use of deadly force by Winslow Officer #1 was clearly necessary to protect both the officer and the female from imminent death or serious bodily injury. No criminal charges were filed and the matter was not presented to a grand jury. The Division of Criminal Justice reviewed the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office’s investigation and agreed with the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office’s conclusion that the use of deadly force was legally justified. Furthermore, the Division of Criminal Justice agreed with the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office’s determination that the case forgo a Grand Jury presentation because no material facts were in dispute.
This entire matter has been reviewed by Prosecutor Mary Eva Colalillo and all portions of the Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Directive regarding uniform statewide procedures and best practices for conducting police use of force investigations that were in effect during the course of this investigation were complied with.
Released Wednesday, September 9, 2015.