Murder Suspect Dead After 7-Hour Standoff With Police In Toms River

Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley D. Billhimer and Toms River Township Police Chief Mitchell Little announced that Maxwell Johnston, 35, of Manchester Township, the prime suspect in the murder of Gabriella Caroleo, 25, of Seaside Heights, has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound following a nearly seven-hour standoff at 1905 Ravenwood Drive in Toms River.

The standoff, which began on June 27, 2024, involved multiple law enforcement agencies working together to bring the situation to a peaceful resolution. Unfortunately, Johnston took his own life, ending the standoff.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth Mascarelli, 29, was arrested at the scene and charged with allowing Johnston, a fugitive from justice, to stay at her home on Ravenwood Drive.

Prosecutor Billhimer expressed relief that the situation has been concluded without further danger to the public, stating, “We thank everyone in the neighborhood for their patience as this situation is concluded and there is no further danger to the public.”

Both Prosecutor Billhimer and Chief Little praised the collaborative efforts of the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit, Toms River Township Police Department Emergency Services Unit, Ocean County Regional SWAT Team, Toms River Police SWAT Team, Toms River Police Department Detective Bureau, Ocean County Sheriff’s Office, and United States Marshal’s Service for their assistance in resolving the situation.

Prosecutor Billhimer commended the law enforcement personnel involved, saying, “I’d like to commend the men & women in law enforcement that spent the day trying to bring this situation to a peaceful resolution. There were many tense moments, and the men & women that were out there handled themselves professionally, and thankfully, none of them were injured.”

The investigation into the murder of Gabriella Caroleo is ongoing, and further details will be released as available.

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