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Man brandished AR-15 style rifle at Wawa employee in Somerset County, prosecutor says

MONTGOMERY TOWNSHIP, NJ (Somerset County) – A Somerset County man is facing several charges after he allegedly brandished an AR-15-style rifle at a Wawa employee in Montgomery Township.

On Saturday, October 29, at around 3:17 a.m. hours Somerset County Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call reporting that an unknown man displayed an AR-15 style rifle to an employee at the Wawa parking lot, located on Route 206, in the Skillman section of the township, McDonald said.

Responding officers were able to obtain a description of the suspect along with the vehicle he was allegedly utilizing. The suspect fled from the area in an unknown direction of travel prior to the arrival of law enforcement, McDonald said.

Officers conducting the investigation were subsequently informed that two unidentified female customers had relayed that they heard what sounded like gunshots as the suspect departed the parking lot, McDonald said.

McDonald said while the investigation was being conducted, Somerset County Communications Center was contacted by a concerned family member of 27-year-old Joshua A. Kinney of Skillman. Investigators quickly ascertained that he was the alleged individual that displayed the rifle, McDonald said.

Police requested for mutual assistance from Hillsborough Township Police and were able to track Kinney to a residence on Zion-Wertsville Road in Skillman. Officers established a perimeter of the residence and the suspect’s vehicle which was alleged to have been utilized during the incident was also located at the residence, McDonald said.

Then at around 5:20 a.m. police requested for an activation of the Somerset County SWAT and the Crisis Negotiations Team. Following the SWAT activation, Montgomery Township police were successful in establishing telephone contact with Kinney, McDonald said.

Kinney subsequently exited his residence and began negotiations with officers. At around 6:37 a.m., Kinney was taken into custody without incident by Somerset County SWAT officers as he walked away from his residence, McDonald said.

Prosecutor McDonald stated that with the assistance of the Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office Computer Crimes Unit, Montgomery Township Police were successful in locating an AR-15 rifle, a handgun, and high capacity magazines for both weapons in a wooded field off of Spring Hill Road in Skillman, McDonald said.

The investigation revealed that this is an area where defendant Kinney crashed his vehicle following the Wawa incident while en-route to his residence, McDonald said.

Kinney was charged with second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, second-degree certain persons not to have weapons or ammunition, second-degree unlawful possession of a handgun, two counts of fourth-degree possession of a large capacity magazine, third-degree possession of a firearm without obtaining a firearms purchaser identification card, third-degree hindering apprehension, fourth-degree obstruction, and fourth-degree interception of official communications. He was lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing, McDonald said.

Authorities have not released a motive for Kinney’s actions and the incident remains under investigation. No injuries were reported from this incident.

Anyone with information relating to this incident to contact the Somerset County Prosecutors Office at 908-231-7100 or the Montgomery Township Police Department at 908-359-3222 or via the STOPit app. The STOPit app allows citizens to provide anonymous reports including videos and photos. STOPit can be downloaded to your smart phone for free at the Google Play Store or Apple App Store, access code: SOMERSETNJ. Information can also be provided through the Somerset County Crime Stoppers’ Tip Line at 1-888-577-TIPS (8477). All anonymous STOPit reports and Crime Stopper tips will be kept confidential.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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