BY KATHY CHANG
A Sayreville police officer found with fatal gunshot wounds on March 21 in the parking lot of the closed Amboy Cinemas at the intersection of Route 9 and Route 35 committed suicide, according to Police Chief John Zebrowski.
In a written statement, Zebrowski said police are gratified by the outpouring of support that they have received from their community on the loss of Officer Matthew Kurtz, who joined the department in 2006 and was currently serving in the detective bureau.
“Sadly, suicide remains a leading cause of police officer deaths,” he said. “Thus, the method by which he lost his life does not make our loss any less tragic. In fact, it leaves only a greater void as many questions will remain unanswered.”
Zebrowski said Kurtz was clearly a “cop’s cop.”
“He was smart, hardworking, a volunteer in our community and a leader within the [Police Benevolent Association 98],” Zebrowski wrote.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office, which leads the investigation, has released little detail surrounding the death of Kurtz.
On Monday, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey had said Sayreville police responded to a call around 7:15 a.m. to the parking lot of the abandoned movie theater and found one male, an off-duty Sayreville police officer, with gunshot wounds.
According to his obituary, Kurtz, 34, was a lifelong resident of Sayreville. He received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Scranton.
Kurtz received an award from the Middlesex County 200 Club for Valor and several awards from Sayreville PBA 98 for meritorious service. He was a communicant of Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in South Amboy.
Funeral services for Kurtz was held on March 24 from the Masliszewski Memorial Home in Sayreville followed by a liturgy of the word at Saint Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in South Amboy.