Dr. James Kauffman was arrested after allegedly brandishing a gun when law enforcement came to search his Egg Harbor Township office Tuesday morning.
“He was very unstable,” Atlantic County Prosecutor Damon Tyner said.
Kauffman “waved the weapon in a threatening manner” as well as threatening to kill himself.
The widower of slain radio host April Kauffman was taken into custody after a 45-minute standoff with police. A hostage negotiator was “able to talk him off the ledge,” Tyner told a group of media outside the business complex off Ocean Heights Avenue, where the doctor’s office is now shuttered.
FBI agents were seen taking items out of the office, including manila envelopes and a computer.
His car and the Linwood home he shared with his slain wife were also searched we part of an investigation into “ongoing criminal activity,” Tyner said.
The arrest comes just more than two weeks after Chief Assistant Prosecutor Seth Levy asked that Kauffman be compelled to provide DNA as part of the investigation into his wife’s death. Levy was one of several prosecutors on the scene Tuesday.
But, Tyner stressed, the search warrant was not connected to the investigation into April Kauffman’s death.
Although he indicated anything found could have an impact on the homicide investigation.
April Kauffman was found shot to death inside her Linwood bedroom May 10, 2012. Her husband has said she was alive when he left for work that morning. He told police he was unable to reach his wife, and a handy man who helped take care of April’s pet birds to check on her. He found her body and called 911.
Five years later, it was discovered that a blood specimen found in a guest bedroom was a mix of the victim’s and someone else’s. Kauffman’s DNA was being sought to find out whether the other blood belonged to him, Levy told Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury.
DeLury said his ruling would be sealed, and no information has been released on whether Kauffman had to give a sample.
But outside Kauffman’s office on Tuesday, Tyner seemed to indicate that the ruling went in the state’s favor.
“We certainly respect Judge DeLury’s cogent and thoughtful decision in that matter,” he said, adding: “It has enabled us to continue our investigation into a plethora of matters.”
When asked to clarify that, Tyner said that his office merely respects the decision and that the investigation is ongoing.
Kauffman was taken into the custody of the Psychiatric Intervention Program for evaluation. He was then processed at the Egg Harbor Township Police Department, and taken to the Atlantic County Justice Facility.
Kauffman was charged with weapons offenses, including unlawful possession of a weapon, possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose and possession of hollow-point bullets. He will have his first appearance before Superior Court Judge Bernard DeLury at 2 p.m. Wednesday, according to the court.
The FBI office is assisting with the investigation, a spokesman confirmed, referring any comment to the Prosecutor’s Office. This is part of a widespread investigation, Tyner said.
Tyner said he believes “every day that goes by we are getting closer to solving the homicide of April Kauffman.”
As for those with upcoming appointments with Dr. Kauffman, Tyner said: “he office is closed today and it will be closed, I imagine for the very foreseeable future.”