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Soldier sought in four deaths takes own life

The Associated Press
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 08:02 PM

PHILADELPHIA — Police say a soldier being sought in the deaths of four people in Pennsylvania and Virginia has been found dead of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Pennsylvania State Police spokesman David Lynch says the body of 37-year-old Leonard John Egland of Fort Lee, Va., was found shortly after 3:30 p.m. Sunday in Warwick Township. That's where he had been sought since early morning.

Police say Lynch fired at officers as he was sought in the Virginia deaths of his ex-wife, her boyfriend and the boyfriend's young son, as well as his former mother-in-law in Bucks County.

Authorities say Egland had recently returned from war service.

Egland was sought in the Virginia deaths of his ex-wife, her boyfriend and the boyfriend's young son, authorities said.

The soldier's former mother-in-law was also killed.

"I have no idea whether he's acting on impulse or whether this storm played a part in his thinking," said David Heckler, district attorney in Bucks County, Pa.

Heckler didn't know when the Virginia deaths occurred but said Egland's former mother-in-law, 66-year-old Barbara Reuhl of Buckingham, Pa., was believed to have been killed Saturday night.

Later that night, Egland went to St. Luke's Hospital in Quakertown, where he tried to leave his young daughter along with a note, Heckler said. After a male nurse or orderly confronted him, he allegedly flashed a pistol, and the hospital worker called police with a description of the suspect and his vehicle.

Just before midnight, the vehicle was stopped by state and local police in Doylestown Township, where he allegedly fired shots from a semi-automatic rifle, hitting a Doylestown officer in the arm and shattering a windshield that sent glass into the face of a Dublin officer.

The vehicle was later spotted Sunday in Warwick Township, and local officers reported being fired upon again, but no one was hit. Police issued an alert to residents to consider the suspect armed and dangerous.

Heckler said the suspect apparently tried unsuccessfully to break into a home but was still being sought Sunday by police and a SWAT team. He is believed to be on foot.

Egland had recently returned from the latest of three deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan, Heckler said. He didn't have details on his rank or military service.

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