Soldier Wanted in Multiple Hurricane Homicides Found Dead

An active duty soldier allegedly killed 3 people in Va., 1 person in Bucks Co., and shot a police officer, authorities say

By Teresa Masterson and Dan Stamm
|  Sunday, Aug 28, 2011  |  Updated 6:42 PM EDT
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Man Who May Have Killed 4 Found Dead in Bucks

Warwick Police

37-year-old John Leonard Egland, a soldier from Fort Lee Army base in Virginia, is wanted for multiple murders, police say.

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In the midst of Hurricane Irene causing havoc along the East Coast, an active duty U.S. soldier may have killed as many as four people from Virginia to Bucks County, Pa., also shooting a local police officer along the way.

The manhunt for Leonard John Egland of Fort Lee Army base in Virginia ended Sunday afternoon when what appears to be the 37-year-old person of interest was found dead around 3:40 on Almshouse Road in Jamison, Pa., according to Warwick Township Police.

A rifle, hand gun and ammunition were found near Egland's body and he appeared to have committed suicide, police said.

Official identification of the remains were pending a coroner's report.

Egland had allegedly killed three people in Virginia and another person in Buckingham Township Saturday.

He also reportedly opened fire on police in two separate incidents and also pulled a gun on a nurse at St. Luke's Hospital in Quakertown, according to authorities.

Bucks County authorities told NBC Philadelphia reporter Steve Highsmith that Egland allegedly shot his ex-wife, her boyfriend, and a child in Virginia, as well as a Doylestown police officer.

Residents of Doylestown Township were asked to stay in their homes and lock doors and cars as police hunted for Egland.

"I have no idea whether he's acting on impulse or whether this storm played a part in his thinking," said David Heckler, district attorney in Bucks County, Pa.

Heckler didn't know when the Virginia deaths occurred but said Egland's former mother-in-law, 66-year-old Barbara Reuhl of Buckingham, Pa., was believed to have been killed Saturday night.

John Dougherty, director of Bucks County's emergency services, said a nurse at St. Luke's Hospital in Quakertown called police at 3:49 a.m. to report having been threatened by a man with a handgun.

He says officers earlier had pursued the suspect, and a state trooper was fired upon. A shot fired at a Dublin officer shattered his windshield and sent glass into his eye, and a Doylestown officer was shot in the hand around midnight.

Police found Egland's empty truck at York Road and Almshouse Road in Warwick Township and police saw him flee into the woods after shooting at the Bucks County SWAT team. Dougherty said a SWAT team was seeking for the suspect in the wooded area.


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