A former Marine suspected of killing six people including his ex-wife has been found dead in Pennsylvania. Bradley Stone has been named by police in Pennsylvania as the main suspect in a series of shootings on December 15. The search for Stone resulted in school being canceled in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Cops had said they felt is was more likely that they would find him dead rather than alive.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. He Was Found Dead in Woods 200 Yards From His Home
Contrary to the Montgomery County District Attorney’s statement that said Stone had stabbed himself with a sword, the Montgomery County Coroner said on December 17 that Stone had no stab wounds or “visible signs of trauma,” reports NBC Philadelphia.
Stone was believed to be holed up in a home in Souderton, Pennsylvania, on the afternoon of December 15. Philly.com reports that cops could be heard shouting at a man in the house to come out. Souderton is located 35 miles north of Philadelphia. After smoke bombs and flash grenades were used by police, it was determined that Stone was no longer inside.
ABC Philadelphia reports that a man in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, says Bradley Stone attempted to carjack him at knifepoint. The man, who was legally carrying a gun, opened fire at Stone. The suspected killer ran away. Police are skeptical the carjacking ever took place. The search for Stone now included the FBI. The last confirmed sighting of Stone was at 5 a.m. on December 15. At noon on December 16, it was reported that police had recovered Stone’s car and cell phone. Less than an hour later, Stone’s body was found in the woods near his home.
2. A Witness to One of the Shootings Heard a Child Screaming ‘Mommy No!’
In total, six people are dead after the shootings. All of the victims were shot at close range, reports NBC Philadelphia.
In Lansdale, Pennsylvania, early on the morning of December 15, police found the dead body of Joanne Hill, the 57-year-old mother of Stone’s ex-wife, Nicole Hill. The other victims have been named as Hill’s grandmother, Patricia Hill, her sister, Trish, brother-in-law, Aaron, and 14-year-old niece, Nina. The shootings happened across a 90-minute period in three locations in Montgomery County and began at 3:30 a.m. with the killings of Trish Flick and her family. Then it’s believed that Joanne and Patricia Hill were killed at their home. Finally, Nicole Hill was killed inside her apartment.
A neighbor of Nicole Hill’s told NBC Philadelphia that she heard children inside Hill’s apartment in the Lower Salford Township screaming “Mommy no. I want my mommy.” That same neighbor said she heard Stone telling the kids, “We have to go now. We’re leaving.” Those kids, Stone’s two daughters, were later located at a family friend’s home. The neighbor saw Stone put the kids in a car that was parked outside. The neighbor opened her window and asked the suspect if everything was okay. He replied, “She’s hurt pretty bad. We have to leave. She’s hurt.”
Nicole Hill’s 17-year-old nephew, Anthony Flick, was wounded during the shootings but survived. A Go Fund Me page has been launched to help pay for Anthony Flick’s medical bills. As of December 16, more than $5,000 had been raised. Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman told the media on December 16 that Flick is in “serious but stable condition.”
3. He Was Never the Same After Returning From Iraq in 2008
Stone was wearing military fatigues at the time of the shootings. The Associated Press reports that Stone was known to use a cane to help him walk, but the Montgomery County DA says he hadn’t been using his cane in the run-up to when the shootings happened.
Stone served as a Marine in Iraq. Friends say that since returning from combat, he was never the same. He served from 2002 to 2011, and in Iraq from April 2008 to June 2008. He left the service with the rank of sergeant. During his time in the military, Stone achieved a Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and an Iraq Campaign Medal.
One of Stone’s likes on Facebook was the National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
ABC Philadelphia reports that Stone is 35 years old and is a resident of Pennsburg, Pennsylvania. In August 2014, he was quoted at a town hall meeting complaining about the number of wild cats in the area. He added that the problem was being made worse by neighbors who were feeding the cats. As the search for Stone goes on, residents in Pennsburg are being asked to stay in their homes as much as possible.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Stone has three DUI arrests and was on probation for one of those offenses.
4. He Was in a Bitter Custody Fight With Nicole Hill
Stone and his ex had been fighting over custody of their children, reports the Lansdale Reporter. A neighbor of Nicole Hill’s, Corlie Stills, told ABC Philadelphia, “They weren’t getting along. They started arguing with one another: ‘I don’t want you to have her. I don’t want you to see her.’ You know….” Lisa Andrey, a friend of Nicole Hill’s, told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the couple’s relationship fell apart after Stone returned from Iraq. But Andrey called Stone an “excellent father.”
The Associated Press reports that Brad and Nicole Stone married in 2004 and were divorced in 2009. The AP, citing neighbors of Nicole, reports that she became engaged during the summer of 2014. Earlier in December 2014, Stone filed an emergency motion to gain custody of his two daughters, reports Philly.com.
5. Stone Remarried in 2013
In September 2013, Stone married a woman named Jennifer, according to his Facebook page. In the comments section of a picture of Stone and his wife kissing he wrote, “The smile still hasn’t gone from my face.” Jennifer replied, “I love you so much Mr. Stone!” The last activity on Jennifer Stone’s Facebook page was on December 13, the day before the shootings, it shows her baby with Stone’s daughters visiting Santa Claus.