PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (NBC PHILADELPHIA) – Stone, 35, had not been seen since just before 5 a.m. Monday as he rushed his screaming children out of their mother’s apartment in Harleysville. Moments before, neighbors and police said he gunned down the woman, Nicole Hill Stone. She was the last of seven family members he shot that morning, prosecutors said.
The children were left in his neighborhood in Pennsburg and he fled, officials said. The girls, along with Stone’s current wife and infant are now in protective custody, Vetri Ferman said.
Hill Stone’s mother, grandmother, sister, brother-in-law and niece were all killed in the shootings. Autopsies on the victims have begun, the DA said.
The lone survivor is her 17-year-old nephew, Anthony Flick. He remains in serious, but stable condition and is surrounded by family at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, the DA said.
Bradley Stone, the man prosecutors say is responsible for killing his ex-wife and five of her family members and shooting one other before going on the run, has been found dead in the woods near his home, law enforcement sources tell NBC10.
His body was discovered near W. 4th Street and Schoolhouse Road in Pennsburg. The location is just yards from the former Marine’s home where SWAT teams have been methodically searching for the man for the past two days.
Sources said it appears Stone killed himself.
Officials will be holding a news conference within the next 30 minutes. You can watch live above.
“I cannot emphasize enough how serious his condition is, but at least at this point, we are hopeful that he will be fine,” Vetri Ferman said.
A vigil will be held for the victims at 6 p.m. along Broad Street in Souderton.
Prosecutors released an updated photo of Stone, an apparent selfie, found on his personal cellphone when it was recovered along with his vehicle. Taken in November, Stone wore what appeared to be a green military jacket, red beard and a vacant expression on his face.
A digitally-enchaced version, sans-beard, was also released because prosecutors believe that it more closely depicts his current look.
Stone served eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and was briefly deployed to Iraq in 2008. Fellow Marines who served with him described the man as odd and said that he had a tultmoutious relationship with his ex-wife. Hill Stone’s neighbors and friends told NBC10 the woman warned Stone would kill her.
Vetri Ferman said eight SWAT teams searched many locations known to Stone during their first day effort. However, none turned up clues about his whereabouts. Detectives did find some forensic evidence, but didn’t elaborate as to what was found.
A supposed sighting of a man that fit Stone’s description involved in an attempted carjacking in Doylestown Monday night “did not appear to be valid,” she said.
Police, bolstered with help from Pennsylvania State Police, the FBI and U.S. Marshals, are focusing their efforts on Tuesday in the northwest part of the county where he lived and frequented, Vetri Ferman said.
The district attorney thanked the public for their assistance and patience. Schools in Upper Perkiomen, where Stone lives, were closed Tuesday and other districts — Souderton and Pennridge — were under lockdown.
Saying she didn’t want to alarm anyone, Vetri Ferman reminded residents that Stone is considered armed and dangerous.
Police are actively investigating four scenes in Montgomery County as part of the shooting spree involving suspected gunman Bradley Stone. Officials said shootings took place at three of the locations — Harleysville, Lansdale and Souderton. The fourth location, in Pennsburg, is where SWAT officers are searching for Stone, near his home.
“While the specific victims that we are dealing with were individuals that were close to him, members of his family; in a situation like this, where someone is on the run, there could certainly be a risk to others,” Vetri Ferman said.
Officials are warning anyone who may spot Stone to call 911 immediately and not to approach him.
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