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Seaside Heights Woman Charged With Harboring Fugitive Who Shot, Killed Self; Details Emerge

A standoff on Ravenwood Drive in Toms River, July 5, 2024. (Credit: Jersey Shore Fire Response/ Instagram)

A standoff on Ravenwood Drive in Toms River, July 5, 2024. (Credit: Jersey Shore Fire Response/ Instagram)

A Seaside Heights woman has been charged with harboring the suspect in a murder case who shot and killed himself Friday after a nearly seven-hour standoff with Toms River police.

Elizabeth Mascarelli, 29, of Seaside Heights, was charged with harboring a fugitive from justice in connection with events that occurred in Toms River on July 5, 2024, according to prosecutors.

According to a statement issued by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office on Saturday, on July 5, 2024, detectives from the county and multiple police departments, as well as the United States Marshals Service, located Maxwell Johnston, 35, of Manchester Township, at a residence on Ravenwood Drive in Toms River. Johnston was wanted in connection with the murder of Gabriella Caroleo, 25, of Seaside Heights, which occurred in Manchester Township on June 27, 2024.

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Maxwell Johnson (Photo: OCPO)

Maxwell Johnson (Photo: OCPO)

Upon their arrival at the residence, the Marshals successfully called out three of the occupants; Johnston and Mascarelli remained in the residence, however, and it was learned that Johnston was armed.

“Negotiators attempted to have Johnston surrender himself peacefully; those attempts were met with negative results,” the statement said. “After several hours, Mascarelli exited the residence and was transported to Community Medical Center in Toms River to be treated for injuries sustained throughout the standoff.”

The Jersey Shore Fire Response page on Instagram was the first to publish photos from the scene, several of which are embedded below.

The residence was subsequently cleared using a drone, and Johnston was located in a bedroom, deceased, with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.

Further investigation revealed that Mascarelli had allegedly allowed Johnston to stay at the residence on Ravenwood Drive with her for four days – despite her knowledge of the murder of Caroleo and Johnston’s alleged involvement in it. As such, Mascarelli was charged criminally in the case and served with the charge on a complaint at the hospital.

Mascarelli will be transferred to the Ocean County Jail where she will be lodged pending a detention hearing, the statement said.

A slew of law enforcement agencies were involved in the investigation and the standoff Friday, including:

  • Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office Major Crime Unit
  • Manchester Township Police Department
  • Manchester Township Police Department Detective Bureau
  • Toms River Police Department
  • Toms River Police Department Detective Bureau
  • Toms River Police Department Emergency Services Unit
  • Ocean County Regional SWAT Team
  • Ocean County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Investigation Unit
  • Ocean County Sheriff’s Office K-9 Unit
  • United States Marshals Service
  • Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office
  • Monmouth County Emergency Response Team,
  • Howell Township Police
  • NJ State Police
  • Essex County Prosecutor’s Office
  • Newark City Police Department
  • Ocean County Medical Examiner’s Office

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