The military veteran who police say killed six family members and critically injured another in a shooting spree near Philadelphia on Monday was believed to have been chased off by an armed civilian after attempting to steal the man¹s car keys in Doylestown on Monday night.
For hours on Monday, police assumed Bradley William Stone, 35, was in his Pennsburg house at Main and W. 4th streets, according to police sources at the scene.
SWAT teams surrounded the home, demolished the garage behind the house, extinguished lights on the street and evacuated neighbors from nearby homes as they fired gas canisters and stun grenades into the small-frame home decorated with an American flag.
Around 7:30 p.m., police abandoned the home and fanned out intoPhiladelphia¹s suburbs. The civilian had a gun and shot at the man in fatigues, who then ran into
the woods, the Daily News reported.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said the victimswere all members of Stone¹s wife¹s family. Multiple media reports said the shootings may have been tied to a custody battle.
Press reports say Stone is a Marine Corps veteran of Iraq, where he served as a weatherman with an artillery unit. They said he may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
Stone is believed to have killed the six people at three different locations. Police followed a ³hangup² 911 call to the Lansdale home of Stone’s former grandmother-in-law and mother-in-law around 4:30 a.m. Monday. Police found both women shot to death, Ferman said.
At 4:55 a.m., more than 7 miles from the Lansdale home, a neighbor alerted police to a disturbance at the apartment of Nicole Hill on the 150 block of Main Street in the Harleysville section of Lower Salford Township.
Hill, Stone’s 33-year-old ex-wife and the mother of his children, was found shot to death.
The DA said at 5 a.m. Stone took the couple¹s two daughters, ages 8 and 5, to his hometown of Pennsburg, dropping them off at a neighbor¹s house.
Before 8 a.m. Nicole Stone¹s sister, Patricia Flick, her husband and their 14-year-old daughter were found dead in their Souderton home. Their 17-year-old son was found with a bullet to his head and was airlifted in critical condition to a Philadelphia hospital.
The Souderton murders actually occurred first at 3:30 a.m. That morning, police surrounded Stone's Pennsburg home.
Using loudspeakers, they called for him to surrender, and officers at the scene told journalists they believed Stone was in the home, possibly dead.
With nothing but silence by nightfall, officers circled the house, walked up to the front door, and pointed flashlights in the windows, while dozens of locals watched for hours from across the street.
Authorities locked down schools in the Upper Perkiomen Valley and Souderton school districts as the manhunt wore on.
The children were let go by 3:45 p.m. The Souderton murders actually occurred first at 3:30 a.m. Last discovery, first in time Ferman said.
While police recovered Stone¹s vehicle and personal cellphone, he is still on the loose as of press time.