Gun Flashlight Stops Suspect's Bullet From Striking Officer During Standoff: Official | NBC 10 Philadelphia
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Gun Flashlight Stops Suspect's Bullet From Striking Officer During Standoff: Official

More than a week after a tense standoff ended with a murder suspect taking his own life, officials are now revealing how a gun flashlight saved an officer during the ordeal. NBC10's Deanna Durante has the incredible story. (Published Monday, Nov. 16, 2015)

The flashlight on his own gun saved the life of a police officer during a tense standoff at a suburban Philadelphia motel in which a North Carolina murder suspect was found dead.

"They say God is everywhere," said Fred Harran, public safety director for Bensalem, Pennsylvania. "God was in Knights Inn on Nov. 7."

James Miller

The unidentified Bensalem Police officer and other investigators were searching for James Miller, a man who was wanted for a parole violation for an auto theft conviction. They received information indicating Miller was inside room 142 at the Knights Inn on Route 1 in Trevose around 3 p.m. on Nov. 7.

The officers knocked on the door preparing to arrest Miller. Unbeknownst to them, two other people were also inside the room with Miller: Lloyd Wayne Franklin, 34, and Jennifer Michelle Lanning, 38. Franklin and Lanning were suspects in the murder of an elderly couple in North Carolina back on Oct. 29.

(L to R) Lloyd Franklin, Jennifer Lanning
Photo credit: Davidson County Sheriff's Office

Police say Franklin and Lanning, who were also suspects in several pharmacy robberies, traveled to Pennsylvania and picked up Miller on the way as he was hitchhiking.

When the Bensalem Officer walked into the motel room, Franklin was hiding inside a closet armed with a gun, police said.

"As a police officer drew his weapon and opened the door slowly he was met by gunfire immediately by Mr. Franklin," Harran said.

Harran told NBC10 the bullet fired from Franklin's gun struck the officer's weapon. Amazingly, the flashlight under the barrel of the officer's gun stopped the bullet. The incident happened so fast that the officer didn't even realize his own gun had been struck and instead thought it was jammed. The officers quickly got out of the motel and a SWAT team was notified, leading to a standoff.

Lanning eventually surrendered and told police Franklin and Miller were still inside the room, officials said. Miller held police at bay for about 2 1/2 hours but eventually surrendered as well, police said.

When the standoff finally ended, Franklin was found dead in the room from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. Lanning and Miller were both arrested.

Lanning is back in North Carolina where she is facing murder charges. Miller is also in custody.

"Two bad guys in custody," Harran said. "And one that'll be buried."

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