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Reporter details what we know about house shooting in Pennsylvania

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Two police officers were injured after responding to a shooting at a house in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia, a county law enforcement source told CNN. Brynn Gingras reports.
Source: CNN
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Grandmother says son fired gun and set house near Philadelphia afire. Now relatives presumed dead as wounded officers recover

Originally Published: 07 FEB 24 16:39 ET

Updated: 09 FEB 24 09:51 ET

By Danny Freeman, John Miller and Celina Tebor, CNN

(CNN) — A grandmother has identified her son as the man who fired gunshots and set their Philadelphia-area house on fire this week in an episode believed to have left several relatives dead in the home as two officers were wounded by gunfire.

The woman on Wednesday heard her 43-year-old son, Canh Le, arguing with and telling his 13-year-old niece he was going to get a gun, Chin Le told CNN affiliate WPVI on Thursday.

Then, Le and her husband left the East Lansdowne house, and her husband called 911, she told WPVI.

Three adults and three children now are feared dead, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said Thursday. Canh Le, along with Chin Le’s other son, Xuong Le, and his wife, Britni Le, are believed to have died, along with their children: NaKayla, 13, NaTalya, 17, and Xavier, 10, the grandmother told WPVI.

Officials had “reason to believe” the person who shot at the officers responding to a report a child had been shot at the home is among those in the home unaccounted for, Stollsteimer said in a Wednesday news conference and an interview with CNN affiliate KYW-TV. Police have not publicly identified Canh Le as the shooter.

Authorities Thursday recovered a torso and a rifle from the “unstable” home as detectives methodically combed the crime scene with excavation experts and a drone, the district attorney said. Nobody had been left alive inside, he said.

The recovery process may take “hours” or even “days,” Stollsteimer said Thursday. “Unfortunately, I’m very confident that we’re going to find at least one body in there, and I think we’re going to find many more, several more.”

“These people’s bodies have been destroyed by fire, so we may have to resort to dental records and other means to try and determine who’s who when we do find more bodies – assuming we do,” Stollsteimer said.

Authorities had been working to nail down “whether or not an 11-year-old girl was or was not shot,” as well as who shot the officers, Stollsteimer said Wednesday. Also among the lingering questions is how and when the fire started – and who started it.

A chaotic scene unfolded in and around the home Wednesday as flames swallowed most of the structure, leaving nothing but a charred shell that released massive black smoke plumes, footage from CNN affiliate WPVI shows.

With the fire still raging, an armored vehicle at one point rammed the house, WPVI footage shows.

“I heard a lot of gunshots … and I just (saw) cops running from everywhere,” one neighbor told WPVI, adding they heard authorities yelling about an “active shooter.”

The family had lived in the house for at least five years, a neighbor told CNN.

Responding officers ‘met by gunfire’

Earlier Wednesday, a person had been barricaded in the house, a Delaware County law enforcement source told CNN.

Authorities then got a 911 call just before 3:50 p.m. Wednesday reporting “an 11-year-old girl had been shot” at the home in a borough a few miles west of downtown Philadelphia, Stollsteimer said at the news conference.

Someone claiming to be a child apparently called police and said they had been shot, another source briefed on the situation told CNN, adding it was unclear whether a child had actually been shot.

Officers from three agencies responded and were “immediately met by gunfire,” Stollsteimer said. Two officers were struck and “dragged out of danger” by colleagues, he said.

Officer David Schiazza, 54, of the Lansdowne Police Department, suffered a gunshot wound to his leg, Stollsteimer said; he was released Thursday afternoon from a Philadelphia hospital. Officer John Meehan, 44, of the East Lansdowne Police Department, suffered a gunshot wound to his left arm that required a lengthy surgery, he said; he was expected to be released by Friday. Both are 22-year veterans with their respective departments, he said.

After officers responded, the house was set ablaze, Stollsteimer said. The block was emptied of people and the fire brought mostly under control, though it still smoldered Wednesday night, Stollsteimer said at that time.

“There’s nobody else in danger,” he said. “We’re not going to make entry into that house until we know that the fire’s under control and that it’s safe for those officers to go in there … We don’t want another single officer hurt tonight in Delaware County.”

The William Penn School District is providing counselors to support students and staff, it said in a statement.

“This is a time when we need to be there for each other and to provide reassurance for our students, as it is impossible to make sense of what occurred,” the district said.

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Alisha Ebrahimji, Amy Simonson, Yan Kaner, Christina Maxouris and Kristina Sgueglia contributed to this report.

The-CNN-Wire
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Active shooter incident at home near Philadelphia

Embargo: Philadelphia, PA Police on the scene of a possible active shooter situation in East Lansdowne, Pennsylvania, on February 7.

KYW

07 Feb 24

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