At Least 6 Missing, 2 Cops Shot as House Goes Up in Flames

At least six people are missing after a massive fire erupted at a Pennsylvania home amid a shooting that injured two police officers, according to local authorities.

Around 3:50 p.m. Wednesday, police responded to a report of an 11-year-old girl being shot at a home on Lewis Avenue in East Lansdowne, Pennsylvania. When officers arrived at the scene, a shooter inside the home opened fire, Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said in an evening press conference.

The two officers were each shot once and are both in stable condition, the district attorney said. However, police and firefighters have been unable to enter the residence—initially due to active shooter protocol, then because of the blaze—and fear multiple victims may have been inside when the home went up in flames, Stollsteimer said during the news conference shared online by local station WCAU.

“We are afraid there might be more than one person in that house,” Stollsteimer said. “We know the victim’s family had a lot of people living in that house, including children. We are aware that there are at least six to eight people who are unaccounted for from that family. It is our terrible fear that they may (have been) inside that house when it was burned.”

“We are hopeful that that is not true,” the district attorney continued. “But we will not know until tomorrow morning.”

Stollsteimer said that he could not confirm the identities of those involved but said the individuals unaccounted for included children.

Pennsylvania Shooting and House Fire
At least six people are unaccounted for after a fire erupted at a Pennsylvania home amid a shooting that inured two police officers, according to local authorities.


Newsweek reached out via email on Wednesday night to Stollsteimer and the East Lansdowne Police Department for comment and an update on the case.

“We’re not going to make entry into that house until we know that the fire is under control and that it’s safe for those officers to go in there,” Stollsteimer said during an earlier news conference. “We don’t want another single officer hurt tonight in Delaware County.”

During the chaos, officers from three separate agencies responded to the scene and were “immediately met by gunfire,” Stollsteimer said, adding that the two officers who were shot were “dragged out of danger” by other officers, he said.

At some point, the house that the shooter was in caught fire, according to the district attorney, who added that firefighters were unable to battle the blaze due to the bullet assault.

“Officers were taking gunfire,” Stollsteimer said. “Police officers and the fire department who were out there, there was still shots coming out at the beginning of this fire scene.”

Local media reported that the entire block near the home was evacuated as first responders, including a SWAT team and additional police and firefighters, arrived at the scene.

It was unclear what time the gunfire stopped but the blaze was under control, yet still smoldering on Wednesday night, according to Stollsteimer.

Authorities were unsure if the shooter was still inside the house or if the initial report of an 11-year-old girl being shot was accurate, the district attorney said.

“We don’t know who was in the house, we don’t know who the shooter was, we don’t know how many people are in there, we don’t know their status, we don’t know if they’re alive,” Stollsteimer said.

There won’t be more information until crews enter the home on Thursday morning, he added.