6 Presumed Dead in Shooting, Fire Near Philadelphia

Man who opened fire on officers is believed to be among the dead in East Lansdowne
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 8, 2024 12:00 AM CST
Updated Feb 9, 2024 10:01 AM CST
Cops Shot, House Set Ablaze in Volatile Scene Near Philadelphia
Firefighters work at the scene where two police officers were injured while responding to reported standoff in East Lansdowne, Pa., on Wednesday, Feb. 7, 2024.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
UPDATE Feb 9, 2024 10:01 AM CST

Authorities say a gunman who injured two police officers in a community near Philadelphia on Wednesday is presumed dead, along with five of his relatives, including three children. In what Delaware County DA Jack Stollsteimer described as a difficult, "gruesome," process, three sets of human remains and a rifle were recovered Thursday from the wreckage of an East Lansdowne home gutted by fire, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. Law enforcement sources tell the Inquirer that three generations of the Le family lived there and relatives say Cahn Le was the one who opened fire at police responding to a 911 call reporting that his 11-year-old niece had been shot. Stollsteimer said the fire did so much damage that exactly what happened inside the home might never be known, the AP reports.

Feb 8, 2024 12:00 AM CST

At least six people were unaccounted for following a fire at a home that started after two police officers were called there and wounded by gunfire Wednesday, the AP reports. "Our fear is there may be multiple people inside that home who have died," Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said. "We are hopeful that that is not true." Officers responded to the house in East Lansdowne around 3:45pm after a 911 call reporting that an 11-year-old girl had been shot, Stollsteimer said. They immediately came under fire. One officer was shot in the arm and the other in the leg, officials said. They were both described by Stollsteimer as male, veteran officers. One works for the East Lansdowne department, and the other for neighboring Lansdowne.

Officers from Upper Darby saved their lives by dragging them out of danger, he added, and "we expect them to be perfectly fine." 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. Stollsteimer said later Wednesday that six to eight people, including children, were unaccounted for. He said the fire was still smoldering and no one would be able to search the site until Thursday. There was no more information about the child who was reported wounded. The whereabouts of the person who fired at the officers also weren't clear, but Stollsteimer said there were "no threats to the community from that house."

(More Philadelphia stories.)

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