Woman Killed in Crossfire; Gunman Surrenders, Police Say
Police said during an exchange of gunfire, a downstairs neighbor of the alleged gunman in a Warminster apartment was struck and killed from her wounds at the scene.
Editor's Note: The victim of the shooting has been identified as Marie Zienkewicz, who was 89. A previous version of this story reported that she was 90.
An 89-year-old neighbor of the man involved in a shootout with police at a Warminster apartment complex Tuesday evening was killed in the crossfire, officials said.
Warminster Chief of Police Michael Murphy would not immediately release the victim's name, as she had not yet been positively identified by the coroner. Murphy said her family, however, had been notified. At this time, it is unclear how the woman got shot.
According to Murphy, the gunman, Andrew Graham Cairns, 49, surrendered to police at approximately 2:30 a.m.
Murphy said the incident began around 4 p.m. Tuesday, when police responded to a domestic dispute in the 2000 building of the Jefferson on the Creek apartments on Street Road.
He said the residents were referred to a caseworker after the initial call, but another call reporting shots fired from the same location came in around 7:40 p.m.
“When the officers approached the 2000 building, they came under fire from an upstairs apartment,” Murphy said, during a press conference early Wednesday morning.
“During the exchange of gunfire, the downstairs neighbor of the gunman, a 90-year-old female, was struck by gunfire and died from her wounds at the scene,” he said.
Murphy said the woman was hit in the exchange of gunfire but it was not clear by whom.
According to Murphy, Cairns subsequently barricaded himself inside the apartment where he holed up for the next seven hours, until a negotiator talked to him over the phone and coaxed him out.
Murphy said during the standoff between 30 to 50 residents of the 2000 building and the nearby 1900 building of the Jefferson on the Creek Apartments were evacuated to a Red Cross reception area at William Tennent High School.
He said the displaced residents were in the process of being returned to their homes at the time of the press conference, around 4:30 a.m.
Murphy said Cairns is being held on aggravated assault charges, but he anticipates additional charges will be filed. Cairns will be arraigned later today.
The investigation into the incident is being handled by the Bucks County District Attorney’s office.