A shooter in Philadelphia killed at least six people Monday morning. Local authorities have confirmed the identity of the shooter as Bradley William Stone, age 35. The gunman is still on the loose.
Montgomery County dispatchers received three separate calls early this morning which reported gunshots being fired in three different Philadelphia suburbs. Officers were first called to the Pheasant Run Apartments on Main Street in Lower Salford Township around 4:00 am, where they found a woman shot to death. While setting up a perimeter in the Lower Salford area, officers received another call around 5:00 am reporting more gunfire in Lansdale. They found two more dead bodies there at a home in the 100 block of West 5th Street. The third and final call came around 7:40 am and reported yet another shooting at a residence in Souderton.
Because the three different locations around Philadelphia are about four miles apart from each other, authorities were not sure at first if the incidents were related. Precautions were taken in case the shooting spree should continue and local schools were put on “modified lockdown”.
Hours ago, SWAT teams were outside a house at Franklin and Garfield streets in Souderton, where they believed Stone had barricaded himself inside. A local television station reported that two more people may have been shot to death inside this same house. Upon storming the house however, police found an injured teen but Stone, an armed and dangerous military veteran, was nowhere to be seen.
Philadelphia police and local news sources can only speculate as to why Stone killed these six people, but the dead all share one thing in common. Law enforcement sources have corroborated that the victims were all related to Stone, and that the female victim found at the apartment complex in Lower Salford was his ex-wife. At some point today, Montgomery County detectives will issue an official statement to the media.
Two children were allegedly taken hostage after the woman was shot to death at close-range in her apartment in Lower Salford. They were found unharmed not far from the scene of the crime. With evidence pointing towards a domestic dispute, it is assumed that the hostages were most likely Stone’s children. Neighboring residents in the apartment complex said that after the gunshots they heard kids yelling, “Mommy no! Mommy no!” They also told reporters that they had witnessed recent arguments between the mother and father as part of an ongoing custody battle.
There is still a significant police presence in the area as the manhunt continues. News helicopters report that there is currently a high concentration of police units in the area known as Pennsburg, but the reasons behind this are not yet known. Local authorities are afraid that Stone’s killing spree is not yet complete and that the death toll is likely to rise. They are working to ensure that this is not the case and the Philadelphia shooter is brought to justice before he has a chance to kill more than six people.
By Dac Collins
Photo by Ron Reiring – Flickr License