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6 People Presumed Dead After Pa. Home Was Set on Fire, 2 Police Officers Shot

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said a recovery mission is underway

<p>Matt Rourke/AP</p> Firefighters work at the scene in East Lansdowne, Pa.

Matt Rourke/AP

Firefighters work at the scene in East Lansdowne, Pa.
  • At least six people are unaccounted for and presumed dead following a house fire and shooting Wednesday in East Lansdowne, Pa.

  • Two officers who responded to the scene were struck by gunfire and are expected to survive

  • Authorities have yet to identify a suspect

At least six people are unaccounted for and presumed dead after a Pennsylvania home went up in flames and two police officers responding to the scene were shot.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said at a press conference streamed by 6ABCthat officers were called to an East Lansdowne home around 3:45 p.m. Wednesday after a 911 caller reported that an 11-year-old girl had been shot.

Once at the scene, officers from three local police agencies were “immediately met by gunfire,” Stollsteimer said, per 6ABC. He added that two officers were struck and subsequently hospitalized.

The veteran officers were later identified as 54-year-old David Schiazza of the Lansdowne Police Department and 44-year-old John Meehan of the East Lansdowne Police Department, authorities said, according to 6ABC, the Associated Press and CBS News. Both are expected to recover.

“It was because of the Upper Darby Police Department, who also responded to that call, that these officers are alive today,” Stollsteimer told reporters. “They were dragged out of danger by Upper Darby police officers.”

<p>Matt Rourke/AP</p>

Matt Rourke/AP

At some point after that, the home was “set on fire,” Stollsteimer said, noting that it remains unclear as to who was responsible for igniting the fire, as well as who the shooter was and how many people were inside the home.

In a Thursday update, Stollsteimer said at least six members of the same family, including three children who were living in the home, remain unaccounted for and are believed to be dead, CBS News reports.

<p>Charles Fox/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP</p>

Charles Fox/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP

Authorities have yet to publicly identify a suspect or victims. As a recovery mission is underway, Stollsteimer said investigators have so far found a human torso and a rifle in the house, CBS News reports.

Neighbors described the chaos at the scene, with one telling 6ABC that a SWAT vehicle was parked on his lawn.

<p>Matt Rourke/AP</p>

Matt Rourke/AP


"I saw the SWAT team, they were parked up on my lawn, they packed into the back of the SWAT vehicle," Derrick Richardson said, per the outlet. "I think they were attempting to use the SWAT vehicle as shield, but the fire just got to be out of control,"

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Another neighbor shared how in shock they were at how everything unfolded.

"Seeing an incident like this happen is like, nobody would've ever seen this type of thing coming," a neighbor, identified only as Tayvon, told 6ABC. "It's shocking, it's still shocking. Loss for words, so prayers and condolences."

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