OLD BRIDGE — Middlesex County Prosecutor Bruce J. Kaplan and Chief William Volkert of the Old Bridge Police Department released additional details this weekend in the continuing investigation into the fatal shooting of two Pathmark employees killed by another employee, who then committed suicide on Aug. 31.
According to the prosecutor’s office, Terence Tyler, identified as the shooter, was honorably discharged from the U.S. Marines in 2010 for medical reasons. He had been stationed in California and remained there after being discharged.
Between June 2010 and November 2011, Tyler purchased three weapons: a shotgun, a .45-caliber handgun and a WASR-10, Romanian rifle, similar to an AK-47 assault weapon. The weapons, as sold, were legal in California, but after the purchases, the WASR-10 was modified, rendering it illegal in that state. Tyler also misrepresented certain details in three applications to purchase the guns, the prosecutor’s office said.
He moved to Old Bridge on June 12, and brought the weapons with him. The WASR-10 is illegal in New Jersey. Tyler, 23, obtained a job on the midnight to 8 a.m. shift at the Pathmark supermarket on Aug. 20, and reported, as usual, for work on Aug. 31.
At 3:30 a.m., with no discussion or known conflict with any of 12 other employees working the overnight shift, Tyler left the store.
The investigation revealed that he drove to his home in Old Bridge, changed into military-issue desert camouflage clothes and returned about 30 minutes later with the three weapons. He was not wearing a bullet-poof vest.
Tyler exited from his vehicle, began firing the assault rifle as he headed toward the supermarket, and aimed at an employee, but missed, authorities said. The employee, standing outside the store, ran inside and warned co-workers.
The investigation has shown that Tyler entered the store and continued firing at employees. It also was determined that Tyler had no intended target and fired randomly.
The first 911 call at 4:04 a.m. alerted police in Old Bridge, who immediately dispatched officers to the scene. Police from Sayreville and Perth Amboy were dispatched to the Pathmark at 4:09 a.m. and 4:16 a.m., respectively.
Through visual observations made from the front and rear of the store, police were able to determine that there were three people, motionless and showing no other signs of life, in the store. These individuals later were identified as Tyler and his victims, Cristina LoBrutto, 18, and Bryan Breen, 24.
The Middlesex County Medical Examiner’s Office concluded that Breen died instantaneously, and that LoBrutto died seconds after being shot. Each died from a single gunshot wound, the medical examiner’s office reported.
In addition to making visual observations of the victims, police cordoned off the area, assisted employees fleeing from the store and questioned potential witnesses in an effort to determine the number and identities of people remaining in the store.
Police also sought information on the number of gunmen and their location in the store, as well as whether anyone was injured or held hostage.
Additionally, police worked to sort out numerous and conflicting reports.
The incident ended when members of the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Special Operations Response Team, or SORT unit, were contacted and at 5:45 a.m. were ordered into the store.
They found all three individuals dead. Two employees, who were unable to flee and hid in the store, were found, unharmed.
The investigation determined that Tyler fired 19 shots from the WASR-10. Police also recovered, at the scene, 281 live rounds of ammunition designed for the WASR-10.
Evidence further showed that Tyler killed himself, firing a single shot to his head with the .45-caliber handgun.
Police discovered the shotgun during a search of Tyler’s vehicle. All three weapons were recovered by police.