UNITED STATES NEWS

6 members of Philadelphia area family are feared dead in house fire and shooting, prosecutor says

Feb 8, 2024, 7:33 AM | Updated: 4:12 pm

EAST LANSDOWNE, Pa. (AP) — Six members of a family — including three children — are feared dead, an official said Thursday, from a fire at a house in suburban Philadelphia that went up in flames as two police officers who responded to the scene were shot and injured.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer told reporters that some remains of a body and a rifle were recovered from the home in East Lansdowne, but he cautioned that the probe is in its early stages.

Stollsteimer said the shooter may have been inside the house when it was destroyed by fire Wednesday afternoon. He said the family residing there has the surname of Le but otherwise did not release names.

Lansdowne Officer David Schiazza, 54, who was wounded in the leg, was discharged Thursday afternoon, rolled out of the hospital in a wheelchair and greeted by rows of fellow officers who stood at attention and saluted. He waved and flashed a thumbs-up sign through the passenger-side window as he was driven away.

The other wounded officer, 44-year-old John Meehan of the East Lansdowne department, required lengthy surgery to his arm and could be released by Friday, Stollsteimer said.

Both officers have more than two decades with their respective departments.

The fire did so much damage it may not ever be possible to determine how it started or who did the shooting, Stollsteimer said.

“If we ever determine it, it won’t be any time soon,” he said.

Firefighters remained on the scene Thursday morning as wisps of smoke were visible from the charred remains of the house. Heavy machinery moved into the neighborhood as investigators were examining the home.

An excavator was being used to tear down the walls left standing after the fire gutted the building, scooping debris to be sifted by investigators. A medical examiner’s office vehicle was there.

Officers responded to the house in East Lansdowne around 3:45 p.m. after a 911 call reporting that an 11-year-old girl had been shot. Stollsteimer said he was not sure who called 911.

They immediately came under fire.

Officers from Upper Darby saved the lives of the two wounded men by dragging them out of danger, Stollsteimer said.

A retired public transit police officer who lives near the home told the Delaware County Daily Times he heard a “succession” of shots, some before police arrived.

“You heard that first shot, then it was a pause,” the Rev. Tracy Mallory said. “Then it was rapid shots, about four to six. Then it was about two more.”

Authorities believe the home was set on fire by someone inside. Intense flames were initially seen rising from the roof and top floor of the three-story home before spreading to the lower levels, largely gutting the structure.

There was no more information about the child who was reported wounded.

Upper Darby Superintendent Timothy Bernhardt described a volatile and dangerous scene when officers from his department responded to the home and were able to rescue the two wounded officers.

“All officers that were on scene initially were taking on fire, and then when they removed themselves from it, there was no more gunfire at that point,” Bernhardt said.

East Lansdowne is about 5 miles (8 kilometers) west of downtown Philadelphia.

___

Associated Press reporter Mark Scolforo contributed from Harrisburg. Bruce Shipkowski reported from Toms River, New Jersey.

United States News

A calendar shows the month of February, including leap day, Feb. 29, on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in S...

Associated Press

Have a look at the whos, whats and whens of leap year through time

NEW YORK (AP) — Leap year. It’s a delight for the calendar and math nerds among us. So how did it all begin and why? Have a look at some of the numbers, history and lore behind the (not quite) every four year phenom that adds a 29th day to February. BY THE NUMBERS The […]

7 hours ago

FILE - Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim greets supporters outside Central High School on the day of the r...

Associated Press

Fatigue and frustration as final do-over mayoral election looms in Connecticut’s largest city

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — It’s been nearly four months since a judge tossed out the results of a Democratic mayoral primary in Connecticut’s largest city due to allegations of ballot stuffing, sending voters repeatedly back to the polls and thrusting Bridgeport into an unflattering national spotlight. Many frustrated local voters say they just want it […]

7 hours ago

Homes are seen on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024, in the southwest Portland, Ore., suburb of Beaverton. Th...

Associated Press

A housing shortage is testing Oregon’s pioneering land use law. Lawmakers are poised to tweak it

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A severe lack of affordable housing has prompted Oregon lawmakers to consider chipping away at a 1970s law that made the state a national leader in leveraging land use policy to prevent suburban sprawl and conserve nature and agriculture. The so-called urban growth boundary, a sacred cow of Oregon’s liberal politics, […]

7 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump hugs and kisses the American flag a...

Associated Press

Trump calls himself a ‘proud political dissident’ in CPAC speech

In a CPAC speech, Trump painted an apocalyptic vision of the future if President Joe Biden wins again as the two prepare for a rematch.

11 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump gestures to the audience after spea...

Associated Press

Donald Trump wins South Carolina GOP primary, beating Nikki Haley in her home state

Trump has now swept every contest that counted for Republican delegates, with wins already in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

12 hours ago

Associated Press

Why AP called South Carolina for Trump: Race call explained

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press declared Donald Trump the winner of the South Carolina primary as soon as polls closed on Saturday. The race call was based on a comprehensive survey of South Carolina Republican primary voters that showed him defeating Nikki Haley by wide margins in her home state. Declaring a winner as […]

12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

...

DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

6 members of Philadelphia area family are feared dead in house fire and shooting, prosecutor says