DA: Six dead, search continues for suspected gunman in connected Montgomery County shootings

SWAT is on standby in Pennsburg following a shooting. John Strickler - The Mercury
SWAT is on standby in Pennsburg following a shooting. John Strickler - The Mercury

PENNSBURG >> Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman has identified the man who allegedly went on a shooting spree this morning as Bradley William Stone and announced that the death toll has risen to six.

In a press conference at the Lower Salford Police Department around 2:30 p.m., Ferman announced authorities are seeking the whereabouts of Stone, 35, of Pennsburg, in connection with six deaths and the serious wounding of another person at three locations across Montgomery County this morning. All of the victims were related to Stone, according to a press release from Ferman’s office.

Stone is described as 5 feet, 10 inches tall, 195 pounds, with a red/auburn beard and mustache and closely cropped hair, according to the release. He is known to use a cane or walker, and he may be wearing military fatigues. The D.A.’s office released a new photograph of Stone late Monday afternoon showing him clean-shaven.

Ferman said Stone should be considered armed and dangerous. Anyone with information about Stone’s whereabouts is asked to call 911 immediately.

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An extensive police search for Stone is underway in and around Pennsburg, and Ferman cautioned people in that area should remain indoors, keep doors locked and call 911 if they think they have seen the suspect.

The search for Stone stems for a string of deaths that began early today.

Police responded to shootings in Lansdale, Lower Salford and Souderton Monday, beginning in Lower Salford around 4 a.m. Media outlets reported that the shooter left the first scene with children. A SWAT team has been called to a fourth location in Pennsburg.

Click here to see photos from today’s police activity.

After police previously said they were “operating on (the) assumption” the shooter was barricaded inside a house on 100 block of Penn Avenue in Souderton, Towamencin police Chief Tim Dickson said around 12:30 p.m. that the shooting suspect was not on scene in Souderton following a SWAT operation. Dickinson said the residence is now an “active crime scene.” He also confirmed the long bang sound many on scene heard was a SWAT “diversionary device.”

Around 12:30 p.m., Dickinson said the scenes in Lansdale, Lower Salford and Souderton are crime scenes, while the scene in Pennsburg is currently an active, “dynamic” scene.

There is currently a heavy SWAT team presence at the scene in Pennsburg. A reporter on the scene said a SWAT team member was heard on a megaphone telling “Bradley” to come out with hands up and the SWAT team is currently positioned in front of a row home.

Police have responded to and blocked off the scene of the alleged first shooting at the Pheasant Run Apartments in Lower Salford.

Police and a tactical response team also responded to the area of West Fifth and Pierce streets in Lansdale Borough this morning. A Lansdale Public Information Officer confirmed that Montgomery County is handling the case.

Police blocked off the area around Broad Street and Washington and Lawn Avenue in Souderton Borough. SWAT vehicles and a SWAT negotiator were observed at the scene.

At 8:45 a.m., the Souderton Area School District placed its schools in “shelter in place,” according to a post on the district’s website. The district reported all the students are safe and secure in their classrooms. In a 10:45 a.m. update, the district said the “shelter in place” had been lifted and schools were now in “stand by” mode, with students resuming classes.

Neighboring Pennridge School District placed Pennridge North Middle School and Deibler and Sellersville elementaries on modified lockdown as a result of the police activity early this morning, according to the district’s website. In an update around 11 a.m., the district reported that due to the police activity in Pennsburg all district schools have been placed on modified lockdown. The district lifted the modified lockdown for dismissal, but all after-school activities were postponed.

The North Penn School District posted on its website that it had been in contact with police, which advised the district a lockdown at any district building was unnecessary.

The Reporter has staff members at the scene in Lower Salford and Pennsburg and will continue to update this story as details become available.

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