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Bradley William STONE

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Mass murderer
Characteristics: Shooting spree - Iraq War veteran
Number of victims: 6
Date of murders: December 15, 2014
Date of birth: 1979
Victims profile: Nicole Hill, 33 (Stone’s ex-wife) / Joanne Gilbert, 57 (Hill’s mother) / Patricia Hill, 75 (Nicole’s grandmother) / Trisha Flick, 36 (Nicole Hill’s sister) / Aaron Flick, 39 (Trisha’s husband) / Nina Flick, 14 (Trisha and Aaron’s daughter)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Montgomery/Delaware Counties, Pennsylvania, USA
Status: Believed to have taken his own life, but the cause of death has not been determined
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Montco mass killings haunt communities

Jessica Parks and Chris Palmer, Inquirer Staff Writers

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The police cars, barricades, and ambulances are long gone, but residents of the Pheasant Run apartments in Harleysville are still haunted by searing memories of mass murder.

"Having to go by her apartment every day and see the bullet holes" has been traumatic, Pam Truesdell, 50, said Saturday at a neighborhood vigil. A child's bike, she said, is still in the yard.

According to investigators, Nicole Stone's ex-husband went on a rampage that spanned 40 miles, traumatized three schools, killed six family members, and orphaned three children - one of the worst mass murders in Pennsylvania since 1966.

After a tense daylong manhunt, investigators found Bradley W. Stone, a Marine veteran, dead in the woods outside his Pennsburg home.

At the memorial Saturday at the LCBC Church, Truesdell wiped away tears as she remembered Stone, "a very loving mother" who was gunned down Monday in her bed.

"Our emotions have swung back and forth between fear, and then anger, and then confusion, and relief when it was all over. And then to anger again and deep, deep sadness," said Pastor Jason Mitchell. "This is not how it's supposed to be."

Before dawn Monday, police began piecing together three separate, gruesome crime scenes described in a search-warrant affidavit filed by the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office.

Officers found Nicole Stone, 33, shot at least twice in the head; her two young daughters had been taken by their father, according to a neighbor. A half-hour earlier, Nicole Stone's mother and grandmother had been found dead in their Lansdale home, one with her throat slit and the other apparently shot in an eye.

After connecting the two scenes, investigators went to check on Nicole Stone's sister in Souderton. They found Patricia Flick, her husband, and 14-year-old daughter beaten, cut, or shot to death, and their 17-year-old son, Anthony, barricaded on the third floor with a gaping head wound.

Only Anthony Flick, a student at Souderton High, survived the attack. He was in stable condition last week.

Mourners prayed for him at the vigil Saturday, and donations for him and his young cousins have been pouring in through various school, community, and church fund-raisers.

In their brutality and scope, the killings have roiled the quiet suburban communities about 35 miles north of Philadelphia.

The Montgomery County coroner has yet to confirm the causes of each person's death. But according to the search affidavit, shell casings from Bradley Stone's .40-caliber handgun were found at the three crime scenes, and the gun was found at the scene of Nicole Stone's killing.

This is one of the deadliest mass shootings in Pennsylvania in 48 years and among the worst in the Northeastern United States in decades, according to data compiled by Stanford University.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said Thursday it was her most harrowing week as a prosecutor.

"Faced with three separate crime scenes, other scenes that had to be searched, a killer on the loose, bodies, autopsies that had to be done," she said, "we had to marshal every resource that we had."

The discovery of Bradley Stone's body Tuesday afternoon eased the immediate fear in those northeastern Montco towns but left many questions.

Prosecutors said Stone apparently took his own life, and so far they have given no indication whether he left clear motives for the murder of his ex-wife and her family.

In 2010, Bradley Stone was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and Veterans Affairs officials found him "100 percent service-connected disabled." According to military records, he was in Iraq for about three months in 2008. There is no record of his having been wounded during his service.

In a court document last year, Stone said he had received inpatient treatment at the Coatesville VA Medical Center for PTSD, though he did not specify when or for how long.

VA officials said last week that Stone had seen his psychiatrist in Coatesville as recently as Dec. 8, and that the doctor reported Stone exhibited no signs of homicidal or suicidal thoughts.

He was also under the supervision of Montgomery County Veterans Court after pleading guilty to drunken driving in 2013. It was his third DUI arrest, and in 2004, he served 30 days in jail on a previous case.

Judge William Furber Jr., who supervises Veterans Court defendants nearly weekly along with a team of probation, VA, and other aid workers, said in a statement Thursday that Stone "showed no violent tendencies while in the program. Our court community is at a loss to explain his actions."

As part of his probation, Stone was not allowed to own guns. As of Thursday, court officials and the D.A. said they were unsure why Stone still had the .40-caliber handgun apparently used in the attacks.

Stone remarried last year and had a baby with his new wife, Jennifer Ovdiyenko Stone.

But since filing for divorce from Nicole Stone in 2009, their relationship had grown increasingly bitter, with a protracted battle for custody of their two daughters. Relatives and neighbors said Nicole Stone had expressed fears for her safety.

Her aunt Connie McGaughey said Bradley Stone filed an emergency petition for custody of 5-year-old Kayla and 8-year-old Shannon last week after learning that Nicole had sought treatment for drug addiction. McGaughey said that Nicole's mother had also sought custody of the girls and that the nasty fights between Nicole and Bradley were a constant topic of conversation for the family.

Andrew Radtke said he had been friends with Nicole for about 10 years and worried about her relationship with Bradley Stone "ever since they first met."

"For it to culminate this way is just far beyond what I was afraid of," he said.

A neighbor who called police after hearing gunshots in Nicole Stone's apartment said she confronted Bradley Stone as he led the girls to his car. According to the affidavit, he responded: "She's hurt. We have to go."

A short time later, the affidavit says, Stone pulled into his driveway and asked his neighbor to take the girls inside to their stepmother. The two girls were taken into protective custody, Ferman said Tuesday.

About 20 teachers from Oak Ridge Elementary attended the vigil Saturday. A second-grade teacher described Shannon, who was in her class last year, as "a gentle and loving soul."

"I think of her continually, and wish so badly I could wrap my arms around her and let her know how much she is loved," the teacher said. "This community, her school, and friends will surround her with love and goodness. And we will make it through together."

Killed

Nicole Stone, 33. Ex-wife of Bradley Stone. Shot at least twice in the head in the Harleysville apartment she shared with their two young daughters.

Joanne T. Gilbert, 57. Nicole Stone's mother. Throat slashed, possibly also shot, in her Lansdale home.

Patricia Hill, 75. Gilbert's mother, Nicole Stone's grandmother. Shot in the face, defensive cutting wounds on her arms, in the home she shared with Gilbert.

Patricia Flick, 36, sister of Nicole Stone. Shot at least once in the head, slicing injuries on her legs, in her Souderton home.

Aaron Flick, 39. Patricia Flick's husband. "Significant" injuries unspecified in affidavit.

Nina Flick, 14. Daughter of Patricia and Aaron Flick. Massive blunt-force and cutting injuries to her face and skull.

Bradley W. Stone, 35. Ex-husband of Nicole Stone. Found dead in the woods outside his Pennsburg home. Believed to have taken his own life, but the cause of death has not been determined. Prosecutors said he had a gash in his leg and was found with medication bottles, an ax, and machete nearby.

Survivors

Anthony Flick, 17. Patricia and Aaron Flick's son. Found with a gaping head wound, severed fingers. Prosecutors believe he was injured trying to defend his sister. Was in stable condition last week at a hospital in Philadelphia.

Shannon Stone, 8, and Kayla Stone, 5. Daughters of Nicole and Bradley Stone. In protective custody.

Jennifer Ovdiyenko Stone, 37. Wife of Bradley Stone. They also have a baby together.

SOURCE: Montgomery County District Attorney's Office
 



Bradley Stone's manner of death inconclusive; cause of death released for victims

By Dan Clark - MontgomeryNews.com

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Montgomery County Coroner Dr. Walter Hofman said on Wednesday the 35-year-old Iraq War veteran who authorities say killed his ex-wife and five of her family members did not die from self-inflicted stab wounds.

Bradley Stone, who was sought after for nearly two days following a string of deadly shootings, was found dead in the woods about a half-mile from his home in Pennsburg around 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

“We estimate that he was dead for at least 12 hours, keeping in mind that this is an educated guess and it was cold on Monday night,” Hofman said.

Hofman said Stone had a “very limited” injury to his left leg that did not contribute to his death.

“There is no evidence of a gunshot wound, stabbing or blunt force trauma,” he said.

Hofman said he was not at liberty to discuss what was found near Stone’s body.

“There are items that were found near the body,” Hofman added, although he said he was not at liberty to describe them.

He referred further comment to the district attorney’s office.

First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele said that investigators found two medicine bottles with a crushed-up powdery substance and an energy drink container with a powdery substance around the lip. He also said they found a “large handled” machete with blood on it and a double bladed axe.

At a news conference on Tuesday afternoon, District Attorney Risa Ferman said, pending the autopsy report, Stone died from self-inflicted stab wounds to the abdomen. On Wednesday, she said the results were still pending.

“That’s why we said the coroner had to determine the cause and manner of death. We were only able to share external observations. There were cutting wounds but we could not ascertain how severe they were or specifically what caused his death. That is the coroner’s role,” Ferman said in an email Wednesday. “If the coroner says the cuts were not serious enough to kill him, then we have to wait for him to make the determination of the official cause of death. It is our understanding that the official cause of death has not been determined and is pending the results of toxicology tests.”

Hofman confirmed the manner of death is pending a toxicology report, which can take up to three to five weeks to complete. Hofman said he has asked for the report to be expedited and he hopes to have those results sometime next week.

Hofman also confirmed the manner of deaths for the six victims. He said Nicole Hill, 33, Stone’s ex-wife, died in her Harleysville home from multiple gunshot wounds. Joanne Gilbert, 57, Hill’s mother, was killed by a gunshot wound to the head and a cut wound to the neck. Patricia Hill, 75, Nicole’s grandmother, was killed by a gunshot wound to the head. Trisha Flick, 36, Nicole Hill’s sister, was killed by gunshot wounds to the arm and head. Aaron Flick, 39, Trisha’s husband, was killed by gunshot wounds to the hand and head and chopping injuries. Nina Flick, 14, Trisha and Aaron’s daughter, was killed by multiple chop wounds to the head.

Aaron and Trisha Flick’s son, Anthony, 17, survived the attack and was airlifted to a hospital in Philadelphia where he is being treated.

Investigators believe the attacks stemmed from a custody battle Stone was having with his former wife over their two daughters. The two daughters were taken by Stone after he killed his ex-wife, but were given to one of his neighbors early on Monday morning.
 



Ex-military gunman committed suicide with a sword after he killed six family members and chopped three fingers off teenage boy who survived

  • Suspect Bradley Michael Stone, 35, found dead in Pennsylvania woods half a mile from his Pennsburg home

  • Stone died from 'self-inflicted cutting wounds to the center of his body'

  • Stone's ex-wife, her sister, brother-in-law, 14-year-old niece, mother and grandmother named as shooting victims

  • His wife's 17-year-old nephew, Anthony Flick, in a serious but stable condition after suspect cut three of his fingers off and stabbed him

  • Stone and his ex-wife had been locked in a court fight over their daughters' custody since 2009 divorce; the girls were unharmed in shootings

  • Brad Stone remarried last year and according to court records, has an infant son. His new wife and boy were not hurt

  • Investigators denied reports he was suffering from PTSD

By Louise Boyle and Wills Robinson for MailOnline and Associated Press and Martin Gould In Pennsburg, Pennsylvania

December 16, 2014

A Marine veteran accused of killing six family members committed suicide, authorities confirmed on Tuesday.

Bradley Michael Stone, 35, was found dead in woods half a mile from his home in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania at 1.30pm.

He died from 'self-inflicted cutting wounds to the center of his body' and sources close to the investigation said that Stone used a sword.

Sources told ABC that Stone was found on his knees wearing camouflage clothing.

Stone shot dead six family members including his ex-wife in three separate attacks in the early hours of Monday.

According to relatives, the sole survivor, 17-year-old nephew Anthony Flick, was stabbed and had three fingers cut off by the attacker as he tried to defend his younger sister.

He was taken by helicopter to a Philadelphia hospital and remains in a very serious but stable condition on Tuesday.

The teenager was reportedly injured while defending his younger teenage sister Nina Flick, according to a family fundraising page.

A vigil had been organized at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Souderton on Tuesday evening.

Nina Flick, 14, and their parents, Patricia and Aaron 'AJ' Flick, were all killed at their home in Souderton.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman confirmed at a press conference on Tuesday evening that 14-year-old Nina had died from cutting wounds.

Mr Flick sustained a gunshot wound to the head and Mrs Flick was shot in the head and the arm.

Final autopsy results were not yet available.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman called the killings a 'horrendous tragedy. '

'There is no excuse or valid explanation for snuffing out these six innocent lives and for injuring another person' she told reporters.

'We are really numb from what we have had to go through over the past two days. '

Ferman said she could not confirm that Stine had killed himself with a sword but said he died of 'self-inflicted cutting wounds.'

She said five of his six victims had been shot but the sixth, 14-year-old Nina Flick had died from cutting injuries'.

Stone then moved on to a second home a few miles away in Lansdale in the early hours of Monday, where he shot dead his ex-wife's mother, Jo Anne, 57, and 75-year-old grandmother, Patricia.

Shortly before 5am, Stone went to the home of his ex-wife, 33-year-old Nicole Stone, where she was shot multiple times while her two young daughters were in the home. The girls are now in protective custody, the DA said on Tuesday.

Ms Stone had told neighbors she feared her ex-husband would kill her.

The suspect then fled with the couple's two young daughters, believed to be five and eight years old, but left the girls, unharmed, with a neighbor.

Ashley Deane, a neighbor of Nicole Stone's in Lower Salford Township told cops that she had heard glass breaking followed by a loud bang shortly before 5 am on Monday.

Deane told police she heard Nicole's children yelling: 'Mommy, mommy, no. I want my mom' before hearing a man's voice say 'Come on, let's go. We have to leave now.'

Deane told cops she confronted Brad Stone as he left with the girls and he told her:'She's hurt, we have to go. She's hurt.'

Ferman said police only discovered the three dead members of the Flick family after they realized the other victims were all related.

'We realized that Nicole had a sister, Patricia Flick, and decided to make a well-being call to her home in Souderton. We went and tragically found the bodies.'

She said she is hopeful that 17-year-old Anthony Flick, who lost three fingers in the frenzied attack, will survive. He had been trying to defend his little sister, police believe.

The Marine veteran had recently remarried and had an infant son. Stone's new wife and son were also being held at a secure location.

Police are working on the theory that a dispute over the custody of the Stone girls set off the killing spree. 'They had an ongoing custody dispute and that was very contentious and protracted,' said Ferman.

'Last week Mr. Stone made an effort to get regency custody that was not successful.'

The DA said that Stone had an ongoing custody battle with his wife over their children and had filed for emergency custody last week.

A friend, who didn't want to be identified and claimed to have served in the Marine reservists for eight years with Stone, told the Daily Beast that the alleged gunman was battling serious mental health issues.

'Brad suffers from what a lot of veterans suffer from - you can call it battle fatigue or PTSD or whatever. And he’s been dealing with his health since he got back,' the friend claimed.

The DA said on Tuesday that Stone had not been diagnosed with PTSD but was undergoing treatment related to a DUI charge.

Ferman denied reports that Stone was suffering from PTSD following his two month tour of duty in Iraq. But she said he was under court-ordered treatment following the latest of three DUI convictions.

Investigators tore apart Stone's home in Pennsburg overnight and searched his phone and car for clues.

He was at large for more than 24 hours, causing one district to close schools as a precaution.

Authorities were unclear if Stone had been traveling on foot, adding that he used a cane or a walker to get around.

The DA said on Tuesday that Stone should be considered armed and dangerous, adding that if anyone sees the suspect, not to approach him but call 911.

Residents of nearby communities had been asked to shelter in place temporarily late on Monday as an intense manhunt spread to their areas.

Police surrounded two addresses on Monday believed to be where the suspect was sheltered, but both were empty.

As the manhunt continued into the night, the search centered on woodland in Doylestown.

A man fitting Stone's description reportedly walked up to a dog owner with a knife at 7pm and demanded his keys. However the person was armed and fired shots at the alleged suspect.

Canine units picked up his scent on Monday night and searched the woods along with a police helicopter which flew overhead hoping to detect stone with an infra-red camera. Police did not find the suspect.

The victims were all believed to have been shot at close-range.

Brad Stone and his ex-wife had been locked in a court fight over their children's custody since she filed for divorce in 2009.

He filed an emergency motion early this month, although the resulting December 9 ruling remains sealed in court files.

'She would tell anybody who would listen that he was going to kill her and that she was really afraid for her life,' said Evan Weron, a neighbor at the Pheasant Run Apartments in Harleysville.

He said Nicole Stone would talk frequently about the custody dispute.

'(Nicole) came into the house a few times, a few separate occasions, crying about how it was very upsetting to her,' Weron said.

Neighbors woke to the sounds of breaking glass and gunshots coming from Nicole Stone's apartment early on Monday.

A neighbor told ABC that she saw the father leading his two young daughters away from the home in their pajamas without coats.

The neighbor, who did not want to be identified, said: 'I heard the kids say, ''Mommy no. I want my mom.'' And I heard [the suspect] say ''Let's go. We have to go now. We're leaving.'''

The woman said that she opened the window and called to the man to ask him if everything was ok. He responded: 'She's hurt pretty bad', before getting in the car and driving off.

They alerted authorities after seeing her ex-husband racing away with the children. The girls later were found safe with his neighbors.

She declined to discuss the weapon or weapons involved in the slayings, and said authorities did not know if Stone was traveling on foot.

Stone, who's white, about 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, likely was wearing military fatigues and may have shaved off his facial hair, said Ferman.

'As I stand here right now, we do not know where he is,' Ferman said at an evening news briefing.

The briefing came as SWAT teams surrounded his Pennsburg home for hours on Monday and pleaded through a bullhorn for him to surrender.

A cop shouted at the house: 'Bradley, this is the police department. Come to the front door with your hands up. You're under arrest.'

Later that night, police in neighboring Bucks County swarmed an area outside Doylestown after an attempted carjacking by a man dressed in fatigues and similar in appearance to Stone.

The rampage started in Souderton at the home of Brad Stone's former sister-in-law and ended about 90 minutes later at Nicole Stone's apartment in nearby Harleysville, Ferman said.

Nicole Stone's sister, Patricia Flick, her sister's husband, Aaron Flick, and the couple's 14-year-old daughter, Nina Flick, were killed in the first wave of violence, which was not discovered until nearly 8am.

Their 17-year-old son, Anthony Flick, was pulled from the house with a cutting wounds and was taken in an armored vehicle and then by helicopter to a Philadelphia hospital for treatment.

'I'm (angry) because he could have come to my door and I could have taken him to a treatment center, and we could have worked this out,' said longtime friend Matthew Schafte.

He described Stone as a Marine veteran who served in Iraq, but said he was not aware of any resulting injuries.

'He was pumped to go into the military,' said Schafte, who said his friend was a fixture at a local American Legion post, both before and after his service.

His wife, Tina Bickert Schafte, said she had babysat for both Nicole Stone and her sister Patricia when they were growing up.

Stone's neighbor told the Daily Beast about an incident on Sunday night which may have showed the Marine Veteran was teetering on the brink.

'He was standing on the corner and wearing only a T-shirt and jeans, and this was 11:30 at night and it was really cold,' Drew Servis said.

'His head was down and I said to him, ''How’s it going?'' and he just kept looking down, with his hands in his pockets, staring at the ground.'

Brad and Nicole Stone married in 2004 and filed for divorce in 2009, court records show. Nicole Stone became engaged over the summer, neighbors said.

He had faced several driving-under-the-influence charges, one of which was handled in veterans' court and led to a three- to 23-month sentence.

Brad Stone remarried last year, according to his Facebook page and court records, and has an infant son.

Neither his wife nor the son were injured. His wife's Facebook page shows their son and Stone's daughters having their picture taken with Santa on Saturday.

The search was underway just 60 miles from where suspected cop killer and survivalist Eric Frein was caught after leading cops on a search for months through the Pennsylvania wood.