The township police officer who was found shot dead Monday morning in the parking lot of a vacant movie theater took his own life, authorities confirmed Tuesday.

Police Chief John Zebrowski made the announcement on the police department's Facebook page Tuesday afternoon, saying the death of Det. Matt Kurtz remains a tragedy no matter the method of death.

"Matthew's death sheds more light on an insidious predator that has taken his life and so many others in law enforcement as well," Zebrowski said. "Sadly, suicide remains a leading cause of police officer deaths. 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."

Kurtz was found dead inside his own car next to the former Amboy Multiplex theater on Route 9 in Sayreville on Monday morning. He had suffered at least one gunshot wound.

Zebrowski said Kurtz was a "cop's cop" who was smart, hardworking, a volunteer in our community and a leader within the PBA. "We greatly appreciate the respectful and considerate support that has been received," the chief wrote.

We are gratified by the outpouring of support that we have received from our community, as well as from our brothers and...

Posted by Sayreville Police Department on Tuesday, March 22, 2016


Help for the family

As members of the Sayreville community continue to come to grips with the death of Kurtz, an online fundraiser has been established to provide financial assistance for his family.

The GoFundMe page was posted Tuesday and has already raised nearly $33,000.

"On March 21st, 2016 we lost an amazing friend, a honored police officer and most importantly a dedicated husband and father," a note on the GoFundMe page states. "This account was started in response to the outpouring of thoughts, prayers and love from all of Matt's friends and family. All monies raised from this account will go directly to Matt's widow and children in their time of need."

More than 200 people had donated to the GoFundMe page and have left condolences for the family of the Sayreville detective, who leaves behind a wife and two sons.

A lifelong Sayreville resident, Kurtz graduated from the University of Scranton with a degree in criminal justice before joining the Sayreville Police Department in 2006, according to his obituary.

A wake for Kurtz will take place Wednesday from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Maliszewski Memorial Home, 121 Main St., Sayreville, the obituary states. A funeral is scheduled for  Thursday at 11 a.m. at Saint Mary’s R.C. Church in South Amboy with burial to follow at Saint Mary’s Cemetery, South Amboy.

In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations be made to Sayreville Association for Brain Injured Children 251 Jernee Mill Road, Sayreville N.J. 08872.

Dan Alexander and Toniann Antonelli contributed to this story.

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