Millville, NJ – Bridgeton Police Department (BPD) Officer Sean Peek died in the line of duty on Sunday, just hours after he jumped into a river to save a suspect who had fled from police.
The 49-year-old officer was one of several BPD officers dispatched to the Bridgeton Fire Department’s EMT satellite station located on Mayor Aitken Drive at approximately 1:30 a.m. on Sept. 6, after an ambulance was hit by an unknown object as it was pulling away from the station, WCAU reported.
As Officer Peek arrived at the scene, he spotted a woman running away from the building and into the woods nearby.
He then saw the same woman either jump or fall into the Cohansey River, WCAU reported.
“Sean made a decision as would any officer and entered the water in attempt to pull the person from the running waters no matter what the circumstances,” BPD Chief Michael Gaimari told the news outlet.
But once he was in the water, Officer Peek became weighed down by his equipment and gear, and struggled to get back to shore, Chief Gaimari explained.
The female suspect swam across the river, where she was taken into custody.
She was later identified as 29-year-old Sarah Jeanne Davis, according to The Star-Ledger.
Meanwhile, Officer Peek’s fellow officers pulled him out of the water to safety, WCAU reported.
Officer Peek and Davis were both transported to a local hospital to be evaluated.
The veteran officer was released after being examined, but was told not to return to work until he was cleared to go back, Chief Gaimari said.
Police later determined that Davis allegedly burglarized several city buildings on Mayor Aitken Drive, to include the fire department facility, The Star-Ledger reported.
Investigators said she is responsible for having caused over $1,000 in damages by breaking equipment and shattering multiple windows.
Officer Peek went home after being released from the hospital.
His family members found him unresponsive late Sunday morning, WPVI reported.
An autopsy will be conducted to determine his cause of death.
Chief Gaimari said that the BPD is “devastated” over the loss of the 15-year department veteran, WPVI reported.
“Sean was a fine officer and a friend to all and always acted in an exemplary fashion when representing the department and the City of Bridgeton,” the chief said. “He will be sorely missed and our hearts collectively go out to [his wife] Megan and their eight-year-old daughter Kate.”
— Takoma Park Police (@TakomaParkPD) September 8, 2020
Blessed Are The Peacemakers
Police Officer Sean Peek
Bridgeton Police Department, New Jersey
— National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) (@GLFOP) September 8, 2020
Rest In Peace: Police Officer Sean Peek. Bridgeton Police Department, New Jersey. End of Watch Sunday, September 6, 2020. @BridgetonPD @CityofBridgeton @PoliceOne @ODMP #BlueLivesMatter #officerdown pic.twitter.com/lEg476hN9T
— R Cook (@retiredNCSHP) September 8, 2020
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Bridgeton Police Department Officer Sean Peek, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.