Fear. Anger. Confusion. Pain. Misery.
Emotions such as these ran rampant all day and night Monday in Montgomery and Bucks county citizens in the wake of the slaying of six family members in three Montgomery County communities allegedly by a Post-Traumatic-Stress-Disorder-stricken, children-custody battling, crippled former Marine Reservist and Iraq War veteran named Bradley Stone, 35, of Pennsburg.
On Monday morning, six people were murdered, authorities allege, by Stone, who has alluded capture as of 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. Stone is considered armed and dangerous.
Stone is described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, 195 pounds, with red/auburn hair that is closely cropped. Authorities said Stone is cleanly-shaven. He may be wearing military fatigues in a sand or green color. While he is known to use a walker or cane, he may not be using such devices, authorities said.
“We do not know where he is," Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman said at a press conference outside Lower Salford Township Police headquarters Monday evening. "We do not have vehicle information. We actually recovered his vehicle and his personal cellphone so we do not have information how he might be traveling.”
Police and investigators descended upon the area of Shady Retreat Road and Route 202 in Doylestown Township in the most recent manhunt for Stone shortly after 8 p.m. Monday, following reports of a dog walker being accosted by a man wearing camouflage and matching the description of Stone near Burpee and Shady Retreat roads around 7 p.m. The knife-wielding assailant demanded car keys, but the near-victim resisted and fell to the ground, but not before firing multiple shots at the suspect, who then fled into the woods, police said.
Residents of Stonington Farm Apartments were advised to shelter in-place, and Central Bucks YMCA and Doylestown Hospital were put on lockdown and heightened alert, respectively. K-9s were brought in to track a scent, but no suspect could be located.
North Penn Tactical Response Team, Montgomery County SWAT and authorities from Lower Salford Township, Lansdale Borough, Souderton Borough, and Towamencin Township, to name a few, assisted in the search for Stone, a 1998 Souderton Area High School graduate, whose alleged shooting rampage of family members of his ex-wife Nicole Hill, 33, began around 3 a.m. Monday.
Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman reported that Stone’s spree began at 3:30 a.m. at the home of Nicole’s sister, Patricia Flick, 36, in Souderton. There, authorities allege, Stone killed Patricia, her husband Aaron, 39, and their 14-year-old daughter Nina. Their son, Anthony, 17, was the hero of the home, and attempted to protect his sister, but unfortunately suffered the severing of three fingers and stab wounds to his torso and head by Stone, police allege. Anthony Flick was airlifted for treatment to an undisclosed Philadelphia hospital Monday afternoon, after SWAT members surrounded the home in the search for Stone, who was believed to have been barricaded inside the residence, and even used a percussion grenade in the residence.
Anthony Flick was reported in critical condition Monday evening, and sources confirmed to TAP that Anthony was awake and responsive as of 11 p.m. Monday.
A GoFundMe page started by his friends and spearheaded by Melissa Mecca to cover family funeral costs and other expenses raised $3,000 in five hours from 75 donors. You can donate toward the $50,000 goal here.
After the slaughter in Souderton, Stone then drove to his ex-wife’s home at Pheasant Run Apartments on Route 63/Sumneytown Pike in Lower Salford Township. There, Stone allegedly attacked and shot Hill and then abducted their two young daughters, ages 5 and 7. The daughters were dropped off at a neighbor’s home in Pennsburg around 5:30 a.m. and were unharmed, police said.
From there, Stone’s alleged spree continued to Lansdale Borough, where he entered the home of Hill’s mother and grandmother at West Fifth and Pierce streets and killed them, police said. Those victims were identified as Joanne Hill, 57, and Patricia Hill, 75.
Ferman said authorities became aware of the incidents via a 4:25 a.m. 911 hangup that directed police to the Lansdale crime scene. At 4:55 a.m., Hill’s neighbor called 911 to report the Lower Salford murder, Ferman said. Around 8 a.m., police responded to the Flick residence where they found the deceased family members.
SWAT and authorities then descended upon the Flick home and Stone’s residence in Pennsburg near Fourth Street and Dotts Avenue Monday morning with inklings that he was barricaded inside either home, but he was not located. Pennsburg residents were asked to shelter-in-place and Upper Perkiomen, Souderton and Pennridge school district schools were locked down. The schools lifted their lockdowns at 3:30 p.m., 10:45 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively.
Upper Perkiomen schools remain closed Tuesday in the midst of the manhunt.
Stone served as president of the American Legion William E. Hare Post 206 in Lansdale in 2004. He left the Marine Reserves in 2011 and even served time in Iraq in 2008.
According to reports, Stone’s fury may have been sparked by a custody battle between Hill and him; the couple divorced in 2009, and petitions on custody had been filed as recent as Dec. 5, according to Montgomery County records. Stone remarried in 2013 and is the father to an infant.
Could Stone’s Facebook page suggested his alleged shooting spree was on the horizon? A status update from Monday morning on his Facebook wall: “A man who doesn’t fight for his kids is a sorrowful man. A sorrowful man is a lonely man. God bless my children my wife family and friends”
Under the “Favorite Quotes” section of his Facebook, Stone promoted two quotes attributed to U.S. Marine Corps General James Mattis:
“Be polite, be professional, but have plan to kill everyone you meet”
“I come in peace, I didn’t bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes. If you f--- with me, I’ll kill you all.”