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SWAT Incident Sparked by Suicide, Officials Say
Written by Kelly Chandler and Larry Roeder
2014-02-09

North Penn Tactical Team Responds

Updated 2/11/14 - 1:30 p.m.

 

                   Police seal off the 200 block of Washington Street on Sunday while awaiting the arrival

                   of the North Penn Tactical Response Team to assist in serviing a warrant.

          

         Officials from the Montgomery County Coroner's Office said a suicide sparked evacuations and road closures in East Greenville Sunday morning into late afternoon.

          Coroner Dr. Walter I. Hofman said Tuesday a bullet that traveled from a house in the 200 block of Washington Street and into a neighboring home had police respond to the location. 

          Upper Perk Police, who were dispatched to the scene around 10:30 a.m., reportedly found a bullet lodged in the neighbor's home.  Based on evidence at the scene, they applied for a search warrant and turned to the North Penn Tactical Response Team (NPTRC) to help serve that warrant, authorities said.

          In all officers from at least nine different departments stood by in the area for more than five hours.

          Around 11 a.m., Keith Bauman said he and his wife noticed an officer with a shotgun in their backyard, adjacent to the home police were investigating.

          "They saw us and told us to stay away from the windows," Bauman said. 

          He said around 2 p.m. his family and other neighbors were evacuated from their homes to the parking lot of the East Greenville firehouse.

          Bauman said he was unaware of any problems at the home. 

          "We didn't hear anything," he said of the gunshot.  "I live right next door.  He was our neighbor and lived here all his life.  He kept to himself, but we talked and everything."

          Hofman identified the deceased as Earl T. Supplee, 59.  The cause of death was a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  The time of death was estimated sometime around 10, Hofman said.

          Beginning mid-morning, Upper Perk Police District had fire police from Pennsburg and Red Hill dispatched to close a section of Washington Street and Hickory Alley from Second Street to Bank Street in East Greenville.

          While awaiting the warrant and as time lapsed to around noon, the Montgomery County Communications unit arrived to set up a temporary post in the parking lot across the street from the East Greenville firehouse at Fourth and Washington streets. 

          Units from the North Penn Goodwill Service responded to the parking lot and set up to provide canteen services to the police and fire police who were standing by on the cold morning.  An emergency medical unit stood by on the ramp of the East Greenville Fire Company.

          A unit from the North Penn Tactical Response team arrived around 2:45 p.m. Officers were concerned that the person might be armed.

          Shortly after that a loud "bang" could be heard coming from the area of the targeted residence. 

          According to Upper Perk Police, once the officers gained entry into the home, they found a deceased male inside and the Montgomery County Coroner was called to the scene.  About one hour later, the officers returned to their staging area.

          Authorities had reopened the area to residents and traffic sometime late in the afternoon, reports stated.

          In addition to Upper Perk Police, units from Marlborough, New Hanover, Lower Salford, Franconia, Colebrookdale, Douglass (Mont.) and Pa. State Police assisted at the scene.

          No injuries were reported to residents or police officers.

          The Upper Perk Police District issued a statement on Monday thanking all of the residents who were affected by the incident for their ongoing support and cooperation.


 

 

 

 

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