A SWAT team stalemate ended Saturday night in Carlstadt when a sex offender who killed a woman he was previously involved in shot himself to death.
James Cox, 44, was suspected of missing the woman when police went to his home before noon.
“We’re pretty sure he is [killed her] Sometime last night, before any of that materialized today, “said an investigator.
After hours of negotiation, a regional Bergen County SWAT team began shooting tear gas into the house on 6th Street where Cox lived with his elderly parents.
Around 8 p.m., members of the tactical team stormed in.
“As soon as they entered, they heard a single shot,” the investigator told the Daily Voice.
They found Cox’s body and then theirs, he said.
Cox was forbidden to come into contact with the woman with whom he had a 4-year-old child.
Mahwah police went to the woman’s home in front of Franklin Turnpike, near Route 17, early Saturday.
They found her cell phone in front of the house, several law enforcement agencies told Daily Voice.
Carlstadt police then went to the Cox family’s 6th Street before noon, they said.
The situation escalated.
Cox drew a gun and pointed it at himself, multiple sources confirmed.
Officials safely evacuated Cox’s elderly parents and called for reinforcements, they said.
The Carlstadt police also asked all residents of 6th and 7th streets between the division and Passaic Avenue to seek protection.
Cox’s brother, an off duty police sergeant, went home to try to speak to him, said a neighbor.
Police chief Thomas Berta also brought in Attorney Richard Potter von Hackensack. Potter had recently represented Cox, apparently at parole hearings, based on court records.
Cox was working as a security officer when he kidnapped his ex-girlfriend from her house in Parsippany on a knife appointment in July 2000, the authorities at the time said.
He drove the 20-year-old victim around for hours in a Chevy blazer and repeatedly asked her why she broke up with him before he raped her behind an industrial building in Carlstadt.
Cox forced the victim back into the blazer, but she jumped out while he moved and fled to her nearby home. She was later treated for a cut on her chest.
Cox took a deal from prosecutors instead of going to court and pleaded guilty to aggravating first-degree sexual assault.
He was sentenced to nine years in prison, of which Cox served more than seven years before being paroled. The judge also sentenced him to five years’ custody release and life registration as a Megan Law Tier 2 offender.
After several failed attempts to engage Cox on Saturday, the Carlstadt police officer Jason Columbo got him to talk.
Cox asked for something to eat, so someone ran to McDonald’s.
In the meantime, concerns about the well-being of women continued.
A K-9 unit was brought in to detect an odor.
Finally, around 6:30 p.m., the order to enter the residence was given. Authorities “needed to know if [the woman] was in there, “a police officer told Daily Voice.
It started with several rounds of tear gas, the neighbors said. More followed – somewhere between a dozen and 16 – they said.
The SWAT team broke in at around 8 p.m.
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