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Six reportedly dead, one wounded in shootings near Philadelphia

A SWAT team gathers near the scene of a shooting Monday in Souderton, Pa., outside Philadelphia.
AP Photo/Bucks County Courier Times, Bill Fraser
A SWAT team gathers near the scene of a shooting Monday in Souderton, Pa., outside Philadelphia.
Reuters/Montgomery County District Attorney's Office
Bradley William Stone, a 35-yr-old Pennsburg, Pennsylvania resident is suspected in the deaths of six people and the serious wounding of another at three locations in Montgomery County this morning, according to Montgomery County law enforcement. All of the victims have a familial relationship to Stone.

SOUDERTON, Pa. (AP) — Police have moved to a second home outside Philadelphia where they believe a man may have gone after killing people at multiple homes.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman identified the suspect in the shootings in Philadelphia’s northwest suburbs as 35-year-old Bradley William Stone. She said all of the victims had a ‘‘familial relationship’’ to Stone.

Stone started at his ex-wife’s Harleysville apartment, breaking in through a glass door around 4 a.m., firing multiple rounds and fleeing with their two children, the woman’s neighbors said.

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The two children Stone took from his ex-wife’s house were safe, Ferman said.

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‘‘She would tell anybody who would listen that he was going to kill her, and that she was really afraid for her life,’’ said Evan Weron, a neighbor of Stone’s ex-wife, Nicole Stone.

The shootings occurred before dawn at homes in Harleysville, Lansdale and Souderton, which are within a few miles of each other, where he killed five other people and severely wounded another person before holing up in a Pennsburg home, authorities said.

On Monday afternoon, police converged on that home in Pennsburg and used a megaphone to try to compel an end to their daylong pursuit of Stone.

‘‘Bradley, this is the police department!’’ an officer yelled. ‘‘Come to the front door with your hands up. You’re under arrest.’’

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Ferman said Stone was likely wearing military fatigues and was known to use a cane or walker to assist him.

Police with armored vehicles and rifles flocked to Pennsburg after spending several hours at the Souderton home where several victims were found. Several school districts ordered students and teachers to shelter in place.

Residents gather on West 5th Street in Lansdale, Pa. while police investigated the shooting.
AP Photo/Bucks County Courier Times, Bill Fraser
Residents gather on West 5th Street in Lansdale, Pa. while police investigated the shooting.

In March 2009, Stone and his then-wife, Nicole, filed for divorce. They recently sparred over custody of their two children, with Stone filing an emergency petition Dec. 5 and Nicole responding with a counterclaim Dec. 9, according to court records.

The outcome of their dispute was not clear.

Nicole Stone’s neighbors say they were awoken by the sounds of breaking glass and gunshots. Weron described Brad Stone as a former member of the military. He said Nicole Stone would talk frequently about the custody dispute.

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‘‘(Nicole) came into the house a few times, a few separate occasions, crying about how it was very upsetting to her,’’ Weron said.

Several school districts ordered students and teachers to shelter in place. The Souderton Area School District lifted the order after about two hours but said officials were monitoring the situation.

Police gather near a home in Souderton, Pa., where suspect Bradley William Stone is believed to have barricaded himself inside after shootings at multiple homes.
AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Police gather near a home in Souderton, Pa., where suspect Bradley William Stone is believed to have barricaded himself inside after shootings at multiple homes.