By David Madden
DEPTFORD TWP., N.J. (CBS) — A South Jersey man shot in the head last weekend inside the home of a Deptford police officer has died of his wounds, and the cop who shot him is now being charged with first-degree murder.
The shooting took place about 5am on January 5th, inside the Stanford Avenue home of Deptford Township police officer James Stuart, 29 (see related story).
A statement issued today by an attorney for the family of 27-year-old shooting victim David Compton said the wounds suffered “were just too severe,” and they would honor David’s request that his organs be donated to medical science. He died about 1am after being removed from life support.
This afternoon, Gloucester County officials upgraded the charges against Stuart, who was already facing a pair of counts of aggravated assault and was on paid leave.
Stuart had posted the bail set for the assault charges and was released from custody. Today, his bail was raised to $250,000 on the murder charge and he has surrendered to authorities.
Stuart’s attorney has called the shooting a “tragic accident,” but wouldn’t elaborate beyond that. Investigators do confirm, however, that the men had known each other for several years and the shooting was not a random act.
Chief Daniel Murphy, of the Deptford Police Department, also issued a statement on the incident that reads:
“We would like to express our sincere condolences and sympathy to the Compton family, especially David Compton’s parents, immediately family and close friends. Members of our police department are devastated by this event and we want the Compton Family to know that we have been praying for David and are very sorry to learn of his passing. We had all hoped and prayed for a different outcome, and want the family to know that they will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers during this time of loss.
The Township of Deptford and the Police Department want the public to know that our police officers remain committed to their public safety and will continue to provide the most professional public safety service to our community. Our police officers are among the best trained in our state and perform their duties extremely well.”