Sergeant Phillip Seidle, 51, a 22-year veteran of the Neptune Police Department has been arrested and charged with murder after committing one of the most atrocious crimes you can imagine.
Seidle was off-duty when he chased his ex wife, Tamara Siedle, 51, with his vehicle Tuesday morning. His 7-year-old daughter was in the passenger seat during the chase.
After causing her to crash into a parked vehicle at an intersection in Asbury Park, the sergeant rammed his car into her car, then walked up to her window and shot her multiple times with a hand gun.
All while his horrified daughter watched from his passenger seat.
If the story was not heartbreaking enough already, extremely disturbing footage of the shooting was posted to YouTube and shows the passenger seat his child was sitting in was pointed in a way that would give her a very clear view of her mother’s murder.
The video, posted below, does not capture the actual shooting because the man had the phone pointed downwards, but it captured several rounds of gunfire from Seidle’s gun.
Sergeant Seidle then held the gun to his own head for several minutes, pacing around his ex-wife’s vehicle as his young daughter continued to watch just feet away.
Police managed to remove the child from the vehicle as a 30-minute standoff ensued between Siedle and officers. Siedle kept his gun aimed at his head for the entire negotiation, but eventually dropped his weapon and surrendered.
The youngest daughter was in the front seat of Philip Seidle’s silver Honda Pilot as the violence unfolded. Philip Seidel first chased Tamara Seidle’s car through Asbury Park, and then fired the first round of bullets, LeMieux said. Officers who were on the scene then talked Seidle into allowing them to remove the girl from his car, but once they did so, Seidle — who had been holding a gun to his own head — then walked to the front of his wife’s car and shot her again, the prosecutor said.
Two eyewitnesses who didn’t want to be identified told the Asbury Park Press they saw Tamara Seidle speed past the Asbury Service Center on Asbury Avenue with Philip Seidle trailing behind her in a late-model silver Honda Pilot.
“She looked scared,” one witness said.
Moments later, they heard the crash on Sewall and then gunshots. People outside in the neighborhood scattered, some running for cover at the service center, the eyewitnesses said.
“People were yelling and they didn’t know what to do,” the witness said. “There was just a lot of panic.”
Phillip and Tamara Siedle have nine children together, ranging in ages from 7 to 24 years old, and their divorce was finalized last month. Tamara Siedle had won custody of their children. Phillip had reportedly spoke about issues regarding the children before he committed the heinous murder.
While police have not confirmed that either of the shootings are a result of domestic violence, the National Center for Women and Policing reports that domestic violence is two to four times more common among law enforcement families than American families in general. The organization points to two studies, indicating that as many as 40 percent of law enforcement families have a problem with domestic violence.
Seidle has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder, weapons and child endangerment charges. He is being held in Monmouth County Correctional Institution on $2 million bail.
UPDATE: The Asbury Park Press is questioning whether police officers could have done more to save Seidle’s wife from being killed considering they did not fire upon him after witnessing him shoot her several times.
Instead, they stood around trying to negotiate with him, allowing him to walk back to his wife’s car and fire a second barrage of shots.
Two eyewitnesses interviewed by the Press said that the first Asbury Park police officer on the scene did not draw his weapon while the first set of shots were being fired into the car. The eyewitnesses did not want to be identified but showed videos that confirmed they were near the scene of the shooting.
LeMieux said Seidle had put his gun to his head after firing the first round of shots, and police negotiated with him to let the child go. After the child was taken to safety, LeMieux said, Seidle moved to the front of his ex-wife’s car and fired multiple shots again.
Social media users from Facebook to Twitter criticized the lack of force and wondered if police showed restraint because Seidle was a fellow officer.
“The cops had plenty of time to take him down, but instead, allowed him to continue with his gun in his hand until he shot the woman and then they still did nothing? Even after the guy fired his gun? You know goddamn well, if we fired our gun, we woulda been killed. … That poor woman had a chance…,” a Facebook user identified as Jennifer LJ wrote.
Police eventually coaxed him into surrendering where they then gently guided him into the back of an unmarked car and drove him away with another cop sitting next to him.
When questioned by the news site why they did not open fire upon him, police told them “that is under investigation.”