Mahwah Police officers who entered a Mahwah home last June not knowing whether or not a shooter was alive or dead were awarded for their swift response to what later proved to be a murder-suicide.
A handful of Mahwah officers were recognized last month by the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association at the County Police Academy Graduation for their response to a Polo Club home in which an 82-year-old man shot and killed his wife and then himself.
In a release about the award, Police Chief Jim Batelli gave some insight into what the response was like, from the PD’s point of view:
The officers responded to a Mahwah residence after a husband threatened to kill his wife and them himself. The responding officers found the doors locked and no one answering the phone. Using a garage door code provided by a relative, the officers entered the home and began a room-by-room search until they found one victim with a gun shot wound to the head.
They administered first aid and removed her from the house and down the street where she was transported to a local hospital. Tragically, she did not survive her wounds and was pronounced dead by emergency room physicians.
The officers were recognized for their efforts in entering the house not knowing if the shooter was still alive and placing themselves in danger. Although the Bergen County SWAT team was already en route, Mahwah Police Detective Lieutenant Martin Clancy, a former Navy SEAL, determined they could not wait and an immediate entry could potentially save a life.
The officers pictured above - Detective Lieutenant Martin Clancy, Officer Jonathan Weber, Officer Daniel Stewart, Officer Kevin Tielemans, Officer Michael Jack, Officer Robert Loveman, Detective Guido Bussinelli, and Police Chief James Batelli - received a unit citation presented by the President of the Bergen County Police Chiefs Association, Lodi Police Chief Vincent Caruso.
Last July, the mayor commended the MPD, Mahwah Office of Emergency Management (OEM), Mahwah Ambulance, Mahwah CERT, and Mahwah Fire Department for their response to the murder-suicide.