PENNSBURG, Pa. – An Iraq War veteran suspected of killing his ex-wife and five of her relatives in a shooting and slashing frenzy was found dead of self-inflicted stab wounds Tuesday in the woods of suburban Philadelphia, ending a day-and-a-half manhunt that closed schools and left people on edge.
Bradley William Stone’s body was discovered a half-mile from his Pennsburg home, about 30 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The 35-year-old former Marine sergeant had cuts in the center of his body, and a knife was found at the scene, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said.
Locked in a custody dispute so bitter that his ex-wife feared for her life, Stone went on a gruesome, 90-minute killing rampage before daybreak Monday at three homes in three nearby towns, authorities said. He bashed in the back doors of the first two homes and then smashed his ex-wife’s sliding glass door with a propane tank.
Stone’s former wife, 33-year-old Nicole Stone, was found shot twice in the face in her apartment after a neighbor heard glass breaking and saw Stone fleeing about 5 a.m. with their two young daughters. The girls were later found safe with Stone’s neighbors.
Also killed were Nicole Stone’s mother, grandmother, sister, brother-in-law and 14-year-old niece. A 17-year-old nephew suffered knife wounds to his head and hands, and Ferman said he was in “very serious” condition.
Bush to ‘actively explore’ run for president
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Jeb Bush answered the biggest question looming over the Republican Party’s next campaign for the White House on Tuesday, all but declaring his candidacy for president more than a year before the first primaries.
Bush, the son and brother of Republican presidents, is the first potential candidate to step this far into the 2016 contest, and his early announcement could deeply affect the race for the GOP nomination.
The 61-year old former two-term governor of Florida declared on Facebook he would “actively explore the possibility of running for president of the United States.”
While his statement doesn’t commit Bush to running, veterans of presidential politics described it as “a de facto announcement” that ends months of speculation about his intentions.
In a race likely to include fiery conservatives such as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Bush will occupy the middle ground despite his overwhelmingly conservative record as Florida’s chief executive from 1999 to 2007. The potential field grew further Tuesday with word that Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and former New York Gov. George Pataki might run. Both would be long shots.
Family sues over man’s shooting by officer
CINCINNATI – The family of a black man fatally shot by a white police officer as he held an air rifle inside a Wal-Mart filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday claiming negligence and violation of the man’s civil rights.
The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Dayton against the city of Beavercreek, the two Beavercreek officers involved, the police chief and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.
John Crawford III was shot Aug. 5 inside the store in the Dayton suburb. Police responded after a 911 caller reported Crawford was waving what appeared to be a firearm.
A grand jury concluded the shooting was justified.
“All we want is justice for John Crawford,” the family’s attorney, Michael Wright, said at a news conference Tuesday.
Crawford’s family has said previously that it was “incomprehensible” that officers weren’t indicted. The family has sought a federal investigation to see if race was a factor, and the U.S. Justice Department has been reviewing the shooting.
Man accused in another homeless slaying
ATLANTA – A man accused of gunning down two homeless men in their sleep and fatally shooting a hairstylist as she walked to her car has been charged in the death of a fourth person, police said Tuesday.
Aeman Lovel Presley, 34, shot Calvin Gholston, 53, to death Sept. 27 at a shopping center outside Atlanta, police said. They believe Gholston was homeless and was shot multiple times as he slept, like two of the other victims, though his death came about two months earlier.
The woman who found Gholston’s body told officers he had been living in an alleyway near the shopping center for at least two months, according to a police report.
In the second and third deaths, Presley is accused of firing multiple times – “overkill,” police said – while the two homeless men were wrapped in blankets, sleeping on a sidewalk in Atlanta. Dorian Jenkins, 42, was killed Nov. 23, followed by Tommy Mims, 68, on Nov. 26.
Jenkins was shot five times and Mims seven times.
Just over a week later, hairstylist Karen Pearce, 44, was shot as she walked to her car after leaving a restaurant in downtown Decatur, just outside Atlanta. Presley also faces a murder charge in that Dec. 6 death.
Police wouldn’t comment Tuesday on a possible motive for the killings.
“The only thing we can say for certain is this is a very violent individual,” Atlanta police Capt. Paul Guerrucci said.
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