Karl Gregory, one of the dog owners involved in the fatal pooch stabbing in Central Park last year, was shot and killed in a police shootout in New Jersey on June 13. Gregory, 46, was killed inside the Royal Albert’s Palace hotel in Woodbridge Township, as revealed by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office.

The gunfight, which left two police officers injured, occurred just before a hearing in the baffling dog stabbing case that drew nationwide attention last summer. Gregory had transitioned from a suspect to a victim in the case involving his three mini pit bulls and a 15-year-old German Shepherd mix named Eli, who was fatally stabbed.

Central Park Dog Stabbing Suspect Dies in New Jersey Police Gunfight
Eli (left) was stabbed and later euthanized at a veterinary clinic. The 15-year-old dog was also suffering from a tumor at the time of his death.

Following the incident, Eli’s owner, Brian Cornwell, claimed Gregory’s dogs attacked Eli. Cornwell alleged Gregory stabbed Eli with a switchblade, and he pepper-sprayed Gregory and his dogs. Initially, police sought Gregory for questioning, as Gregory’s dogs were known nuisances in the park.

Central Park Dog Stabbing Suspect Dies in New Jersey Police Gunfight
Police distributed fliers to locate and question Gregory following the dog stabbing incident.

Months later, Cornwell faced misdemeanor charges, including assault and menacing, as prosecutors alleged he was the true dog stabber. When Gregory died, he was also wanted by NYPD for a retaliatory shooting in East Harlem.

On June 12, Edison police identified Gregory’s location using an automated license plate reader and notified the NYPD. Officers from multiple departments converged on the hotel where Gregory was staying. At 12:21 a.m., Gregory emerged from an elevator with multiple bags and reached into a backpack, prompting an exchange of gunfire with officers. Gregory was shot and died at the scene, while officers Nerney and Mauro were injured but later released from the hospital.

Raritan Hotel
A police officer stands outside the Raritan Hotel where Gregory was killed.

The New Jersey Office of Public Integrity and Accountability is investigating Gregory’s death. Following Gregory’s death, the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office moved to drop the charges against Cornwell. Cornwell maintains his innocence and is considering a lawsuit against the NYPD and DA’s office for mishandling the investigation.

Gregory’s friend Marlon Delgado expressed disbelief over Gregory’s violent death, remembering him as a “provider and protector” for his young daughter and reflecting on their conversations about community issues.