In the little Borough of Newton, PA (seen in Mel Gibson's movie Signs) one officer was slain, another wounded last night. The officers took a suspect to St. Mary's Medical Center for a Blood Alcohol check. Suspect took weapon off one of the officers and fired 5 shots. One officer was shot in the head, one in the vest, and a Medical Technician was wounded. The suspect was cought in the parking garage.
I live a half mile from that hospital and was shooting trap at the gun club also a half mile away when it all happened. One of the guys I shoot with shows up and says "Damn something happened all the cops are going toward the hospital" Then the Helicopters started flying over us. When we finished there was a guy saying that there was a shooting and the guy escaped. I started joking with my father in law that maybe it isn't a good idea to go to the park in the morning like he does everyday (The park is adjacent to the hospital). By the time I got home it was running on the ticker on the bottom of the T.V. That is when my mood changed, I called my neighbor and his wife answered and I asked if he was ok (He is a local EMT and is always in and out of the hospital) She said he just called and is Ok but is being held since they locked down the hospital. He was there dropping of a patient also when it happened. I then called my LEO friend and no answer, so I knew he was there since he was on duty. Finally I heard from him around 10:00, not a good night in our area last night that is for sure. My prayers go out to the families of both officers and the med tech. I hope the shooter fries!!
I live in Yardley and have a couple of friends that have worked on Newtown Borough PD. Don't think any of those guys are still there. Wonder how this will bode for the future of the Borough's PD? They may end up being absorbed by Newtown Township. You know there will be some law suits focused on the gun retention training given to the boro PD. I don't think the boro has set-aside a whole lot of $ for police training.
Yeah Ed and I where shooting trap together last nite. I saw alot of cops and even a Park Ranger racing to the then unknown incident.
We both have many friends that are local Police officers and could have happened to any one of them . I feel for the officers families . And also for the ER tech who was wounded.
It sounds as if the suspect wasn't handcuffed and just grabbed the gun .
As a former Corrections Officer all inmates were handcuffed or even leg shackled if known to be a problem . When taken outside the institution.
I know the policy was followed correctly by the NBPD but that policy sucks and needs to be changed.
Anyone detained needs to be treated without kid gloves and especially a violent ex con who did time for attempted murder and other charges.
Not trying to be a Monday Morning Quarter back .
BUT this tragedy might have been prevented with a little more precaution on the part of the officers.
One of these days I'll make it to LRGC's Thursday-night trap. It's been a year since I made it to Falls Twp's Manday trap -and I belong to that range.
I still haven't heard the names of the officers involved.
The officer that was killed was Brian Gregg 46 years old, reported that he left behind a wife and infant child. The other officer shot was Jimmy Warnek.
Where was Jimmy hit? He's in "Critical Condition" but expected to recover (although CC indicates that it is touch-and-go?).
Do we know anything about the scum-sucker that did this?
Codolences to the all the families involved.
I am not positive of the spelling of Jimmy Warnek's name, but from what I heard he was shot in the chest, and the med tech was shot in the shoulder. Brian was evidently shot in the head from the reports.
The scumbag Robert Anthony Flor was shot in the hand, sounds like by himself during the maylay. I hope the bastard fries!
Gibbons recounts rampage
By LEAH ZERBE
This was no accident, no random shooting.
Robert Flor wanted two men to die Thursday night, and he wanted them dead because they were police officers, according to Bucks County District Attorney Diane Gibbons.
Police say in five shots, Flor killed Newtown police Officer Brian S. Gregg in the emergency room at St. Mary Medical Center, wounded a hospital worker, tried to kill another Newtown police officer and accidentally shot himself through the hand.
"It was clear from the pattern of shots and the evidence we collected from the emergency room that (Gregg) was executed," Gibbons said.
Because of this, Gibbons will seek the death penalty.
A preliminary hearing for Flor on murder, attempted murder and other charges is scheduled for Thursday, but Gibbons said a postponement is likely.
Police say Flor's rampage began after Gregg and off-duty Officer James Warunek took the 38-year-old Bedminster man to the emergency room of the Middletown hospital for blood and urine tests. He was suspected of drunken driving after an off-duty state trooper said he spotted him driving erratically and beating his girlfriend from behind the wheel in Newtown.
Gibbons said Gregg, 45, and Warunek removed Flor's handcuffs for the medical tests once they were inside the hospital, which is standard procedure, and said witnesses noted that Flor was initially "calm" during the process.
Warunek, wearing street clothes and carrying his personal .357-caliber revolver in a holster, accompanied Flor into the bathroom to keep an eye on him while he supplied the urine sample, Gibbons said.
But shortly after leaving the bathroom, she said, Flor grabbed Warunek's gun.
At a press conference at the Middletown Township Municipal Building Saturday, Gibbons gave a detailed account of what she said happened Thursday in the hospital:
Shot No. 1 - The bullet goes through Flor's left hand and into Warunek's chest. Warunek was treated at the hospital and released.
Shot No. 2 - Emergency technician Joseph Epp is struck in the shoulder. Epp fell, but remained conscious.
Shot No. 3 - As the wounded Epp locks his arms around Flor's legs, Flor shoots Gregg in the abdomen. Gregg's bulletproof vest deflects the shot but he is knocked to the floor.
Shot No. 4 - Bullet enters Gregg's left ear and exits through his right temple.
Shot No. 5 - Flor moves closer, putting the gun just 18 to 24 inches from Gregg's head, curses at him, and pulls the trigger.
After the fifth shot, Gibbons said Flor then tried to execute Warunek.
Gibbons said Warunek was lucky because the first shot didn't penetrate his chest cavity and even luckier when Flor faced him and said, "Die, you pig," pointing the gun in his face and pulling the trigger, Gibbons said.
"This is a five-shot gun," Gibbons said. "There were no bullets left as he pulled the trigger."
The DA said Flor then dropped the gun and fled.
Middletown Detective Jeffrey Sproehne said a hospital clerk, Brian Murray, took Gregg's gun and chased Flor.
Sproehne said when Murray lost sight of him, he returned and gave the gun to an arriving officer.
"What he did was very brave and we thank him for his efforts," Sproehne said of Murray. "He did a great thing, and so did Mr. Epp."
After a manhunt, Flor was found hiding out in a car in the St. Mary parking garage.
Epp remains in good condition, but is still hospitalized and receiving treatment, according to Gibbons.
Police said Flor has an extensive record, including felonies and attacks on other police officers. Gibbons said that is another reason she will push for the death penalty.
"We expect he'll get what's coming to him," Sproehne added at the end of the press conference.
Leah Zerbe can be reached at (215) 322-9715 or lzerbe@phillyBurbs.com.
Taps for the fallen.