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Standoff concludes with discovery of dead man inside Lower Pottsgrove home

By Pam Cunningham, Reporter
Published On: Jul 10 2013 12:45:52 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 11 2013 04:55:42 AM CDT

Reports: Shots fired during standoff

LOWER POTTSGROVE TWP., Pa. -

Police in Lower Pottsgrove Township, Montgomery County said people who live near the high school can feel safe. For hours Wednesday afternoon police were involved in a standoff at the home of a National Guardsman.

SWAT teams moved in when a shot rang out.

It was a tense afternoon as people waited inside their homes to be given the okay by police to go back outside. Many said they didn't know what was happening but based on the commotion they knew it wasn't good.

The 1300 block of Lynn Drive and surrounding streets were blocked off Wednesday afternoon.

"Right around noon our daughter was riding her bike and the police officer asked for us to go inside," said Jessica Rosalia, "And my fiance said, 'Oh, is there a gas leak or something.' He said, 'It was worse than that.'"

Charlie Zothner lives next door to where police responded.

"Just saw that everything was blocked off, didn't know what was really going on and then I found out that my neighbor had barricaded himself in the house," said Zothner.

Zothner said his neighbor was a nice guy who worked as a recruiter for the National Guard in Pittsburgh.

"We always knew he was extremely busy. He was never home that much and when he was home, he was a recluse. He never came out," said Zothner.

He never thought all of the law enforcement action on his block would be because of his quiet neighbor.

"Whatever, you thought it wasn't good," said Zothner, "I figured God I hope he didn't shoot at the cops because now you know he's in big trouble. And obviously you don't want to see anyone take their own life."

Police are still investigating exactly what happened. But they said they responded to the Lynn Drive home because the National Guard hadn't heard from the man since Friday and was concerned. After a gunshot rang out they tried to make contact all afternoon and eventually SWAT teams broke down his door.

"Unfortunately, the entry team did find a male subject deceased inside the home," said Lower Pottsgrove Township Police Chief Michael Foltz.

People were allowed back out of their homes around 5:30 pm. Police said they also found a suspicious package in the home. They are investigating and are asking reporters not to release the man's name until family can be notified.