Share this article

print logo

Army officer, suspect in killings, found dead

An Army officer suspected of killing four people in Pennsylvania and Virginia was found dead in a wooded area Sunday after a manhunt during Tropical Storm Irene's winds and drenching rains paralyzed residents in this Philadelphia suburb.

Hours after he fired at several officers, wounding two of them, the body of Leonard John Egland, 37, of Fort Lee, Va., was found shortly after 3:30 p.m. Sunday in this Bucks County community, said Warwick Township Police Chief Mark Goldberg.

The police chief said Egland had a gunshot wound but he would leave it to the coroner to determine whether it was self-inflicted.

Egland's body was found several hundred yards behind a Lukoil gas station where he had fired a semi-automatic rifle at SWAT team members who discovered his truck and found him before dawn in a trash bin. The officers, who were not injured, chased him into the woods but lost him as the storm raked the area, Goldberg said.

Three Bucks County SWAT teams, state police and numerous police departments searched for Egland after his former mother-in-law was found shot to death in her home in Buckingham. Authorities in Virginia said Egland had earlier killed his former wife, her boyfriend and the boyfriend's young son before taking his own young daughter on a drive through Irene's winds and rains into Pennsylvania.

The girl, believed by Goldberg to be about 6 years old, was abandoned Saturday night by Egland, physically unharmed, at St. Luke's Hospital in Quakertown, apparently after the child's grandmother was killed.

Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said a nurse or orderly confronted Egland but that he flashed a pistol and got away. The hospital worker called police with a description of the suspect and his black pickup truck.

Just before midnight, the truck was stopped by state and local police in Doylestown Township. Officers said the suspect fired shots from a semi-automatic rifle, hitting an officer in the arm and shattering a windshield that sent glass into the face of a Dublin officer.

Goldberg said both officers had been released from a hospital.

Police in Chesterfield County, Va., said Pennsylvania police had asked officers at 1 a.m. Sunday to check on the welfare of people at a home, where officers found the bodies of Egland's ex-wife, her boyfriend and his child. Names of the victims were not being released pending notification of relatives.

Egland's former mother-in-law, 66-year-old Barbara Reuhl of Buckingham, was believed to have been killed Saturday night, Heckler said.

There are no comments - be the first to comment