22-year Veteran Police Officer Threatened to Shoot Himself Before Surrendering
(FREEHOLD) An off-duty Neptune Township police sergeant shot and killed his ex-wife as she sat in a vehicle on an Asbury Park street Tuesday morning before turning the gun on himself prompting a stand-off with police that ended with his surrender, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.
Phillip Seidle, 51, of Neptune Township, is charged with first degree Murder, second degree Possession of a Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose and second degree Endangering the Welfare of a Child, after he fired multiple shots into the vehicle driven by his ex-wife, Tamara Seidle, also of Neptune.
“First and foremost our hearts and prayers go out to the Seidle children and the family of Tamara Seidle,” Gramiccioni said.
Asbury Park police responded around 11:26 a.m. to a report of an unrelated motor vehicle accident near the scene of the incident when the black 2012 Volkswagen Jetta driven by Tamara Seidle turned the corner onto Sewall Avenue before crashing into a parked 2002 Ford Focus. The Jetta was followed by the 2005 Honda Pilot driven by Phillip Seidle, who exited the vehicle, pulled out a handgun and approached the driver’s side of the Jetta and fired multiple shots into the vehicle striking Tamara Seidle. Phillip Seidle then turned the weapon on himself, pointing the weapon at his head, before moving to the front of the Jetta and firing several more shots into the windshield of the vehicle.
Phillip Seidle then pointed the weapon at his head prompting a stand-off with police for between 20-25 minutes. Police officers from Asbury Park and Neptune Township police departments quickly arrived on scene where a brief stand-off with Phillip Seidle can to a close around 11:52 a.m. when he surrendered to officers from multiple jurisdictions who responded. In addition to officers from the Asbury Park and Neptune Township police departments, investigators from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Marshal’s Service were at the scene.
Video of the incident has surfaced on social media sites and investigators are urging anyone with video recordings or pictures of the incident to voluntarily turn them in to aid in the investigation. Anyone with any other information about the case is urged to contact Detective John Leibfried, of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443, or Detective Dan Kowsaluk, of the Asbury Park Police Department, at 732-774-1300.
Phillip Seidle is a 22-year veteran of the Neptune Township Police Department. He was first hired as a patrolman on July 1, 1993, and has held the rank of sergeant in the Patrol Division since his promotion on Jan. 1, 2009. Seidle is a veteran of the U.S. Navy serving from March 1986 until his honorable discharge in November 1990.
Phillip Seidle is currently being held in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution, Freehold Township, on $2 million bail with no 10 with no percent option, as set by Monmouth County Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia, P.J.Cr.
If convicted of Murder, Seidle faces a minimum sentence of 30 years in a New Jersey state prison without parole and a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, subject to the provisions of the “No Early Release Act” (NERA) requiring him to serve 85 percent of the sentence imposed before becoming eligible for release on parole. He would also be under parole supervision for five years following his release from state prison.
If convicted of Possession of Weapon for an Unlawful Purpose, Seidle faces a sentence of five to ten years in prison.
If convicted of Endangering the Welfare of a Child, Seidle faces a sentence of five to ten years in prison.
Despite these charges, every defendant is presumed innocent, unless and until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, following a trial at which the defendant has all of the trial rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and State law.
The case is assigned to Monmouth County First Assistant Prosecutor Marc LeMieux.