MANCHESTER — An 82-year-old man fatally shot himself in front of police after killing his wife with a hammer in their home, according to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office.

Police were called to the Lexington Drive home in the Whiting section  around 1 a.m. on Sunday when the man called 911 to report he had killed his wife and was going to kill himself. Officers responding to the house tried to make contact with the man before going through the unlocked front door. Inside the home they reported finding the body of a woman who appeared to be the victim of a homicide.

Continuing inside the home, police found 82-year-old Ernest Greaves in a recliner in the living room with a gun to his chin, according to the Prosecutor's Office. Despite efforts to negotiate with Greaves, the man killed himself.

The Ocean County Medical Examiner's Office determined his wife's death was caused by "blunt head trauma inflicted by a hammer found at the scene."

Prosecutor Joseph D. Coronato said the incident is an example of the fact that domestic violence can be an issue no matter the age of the couple. Coronato said almost 40,000 calls made to the National Domestic Violence Hotline in the last two years has come from people over the age of 45.

The prosecutor said there are several options in the county for people who are victims of domestic violence.

Providence House Domestic Violence Services
24-hour hotline
(732) 244-8259
(800) 246-8910

Adult Protective Services
Board of Social Services
(732) 349-1500

St. Francis Counseling Services
Sexual Abuse & Assault Program
4700 Long Beach Blvd.
Long Beach Twp., NJ 08008
(609) 494-1090

General help/crisis intervention help line for Ocean County
(732) 240-6100

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-7233
1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

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