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SWAT and Monty Police Arrest Skillman Resident for Displaying an AR15 Rifle in the Wawa Parking Lot

By Barbara A. Preston | Posted November 1, 2022


Joshua A. Kinney, 27, of the Skillman section of Montgomery Township was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with possession of an AR15 style rifle, which he allegedly displayed to an employee in the Wawa parking lot on the corner of routes 206 and 518.

Above: AR-15-style semiautomatic weapons are civilian versions of military weapons that gun control advocates say aren't very different. The gunman responsible for the Uvalde, Texas shooting used an AR-15-style assault rifle. A Skillman resident was arrested for brandishing one in the Wawa parking lot early Saturday morning.


Someone had called 9-1-1 to report that an unknown male displayed an AR15-style rifle to an employee at the Wawa parking lot, Route 206, Skillman at about 3:17 am on Saturday. Responding Montgomery Township police officers were able to obtain a description of the gunman along with the vehicle he was driving.


The gunman fled from the area in an unknown direction of travel prior to the arrival of law enforcement. Montgomery Township 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.


Meanwhile, a concerned family member of Kinney called police. Investigators quickly ascertained that Kinney was the alleged individual who displayed the rifle, according to police.


Montgomery police requested for mutual assistance from Hillsborough Township police and were able to track Kinney to a residence on Zion-Wertsville Road in Skillman. The responding officers established a perimeter of the residence. The suspect's vehicle, which was alleged to have been used during the incident, was also present at the residence.


At approximately 5:20 am Montgomery Township Police requested for an activation of the Somerset County SWAT and the Crisis Negotiations Team.


Somerset County Prosecutor John P. McDonald stated that following the SWAT activation, Montgomery Township police officers were successful in establishing telephone contact with Kinney. Kinney subsequently exited his residence and began negotiations with officers. At approximately 6:37 am

Kinney was taken into custody without incident by Somerset County SWAT officers as he walked away from his residence.


Montgomery Township Police Acting Director of Police Silvio Bet said 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. The investigation revealed that this is an area where defendant Kinney crashed his vehicle following the Wawa incident while en-route to his residence.

Joshua A. Kinney, 27, of Skillman.


Prosecutor McDonald stated that Kinney was charged with 2nd degree Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, 2nd degree Certain Persons not to have Weapons or Ammunition, 2nd degree Unlawful Possession of a Weapon (Handgun), 4th degree Possession of a Large Capacity Magazine (2 counts), 3rd degree Possession of a Firearm without obtaining a Firearms Purchaser Identification Card, 3rd degree Hindering Apprehension, 4th degree Obstruction, and 4th degree Interception of Official Communications. Kinney was subsequently lodged in the Somerset County Jail pending a detention hearing.


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Prosecutor McDonald commends all of the first responders involved in the investigation. Authorities have not released a motive for defendant Kinney’s actions and the incident remains under investigation. No injuries were reported from this incident.


Prosecutor McDonald, Chief Fodor, and Acting Captain/Director Bet request 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.


NOTE: The charges are merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.


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