Soldier kills wife, 3 others

MONDAY, AUG. 29, 2011

Police say he then turned gun on self

PHILADELPHIA – After killing four people in two states, wounding two police officers and prompting a daylong manhunt during a hurricane, an Army captain from Virginia was found dead in a patch of Bucks County woods Sunday afternoon, apparently by his own hand.

Authorities said they did not know what motivated Leonard Egland, 37, of Fort Lee, Va., to kill his wife, mother-in-law, and two others before turning a handgun on himself.

His body was found less than 100 yards from where police said Egland had fired at police almost 12 hours earlier.

Egland had served multiple tours of duty in war zones overseas, Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said, including Afghanistan. He is believed to have returned recently from his latest deployment.

Egland is suspected of killing his wife, Carrie – an Army veteran herself – Saturday at her home in Chesterfield County, Va. Also killed was a male acquaintance of hers and the man’s 8-year-old son.

Police believe Egland then drove with his young daughter, Lauryn, to Buckingham Township. There, authorities say, he broke into the home of his mother-in-law, Barbara Ruehl, about 9 p.m. Saturday and shot her to death.

Leonard Egland then took his daughter to St. Luke’s Hospital in Quakertown. Heckler said Egland left his daughter there with what amounted to a suicide note.

“Presumably he had grabbed his daughter from his wife when he killed her,” Heckler said.

A hospital worker called police, who followed Egland’s pickup toward Doylestown on Route 313. About midnight, Egland stopped and exchanged gunfire with officers.

More than three hours later, police found Egland’s truck outside a Doylestown pizzeria. As officers crept toward the vehicle, police said, Egland hid behind a Dumpster. He fired one errant shot before fleeing, followed by a second shot.

After a day of searching, police doubled back and found the body.


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