Two officers ambushed while responding to a call for a little girl shot and a home on fire

PHILADELPHIA, PA - Two officers were shot while responding to a reported shooting just west of Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon. The officers were from two different agencies- the East Lansdowne Police Department (ELPD) and the Lansdowne police Police Department (LPD).

At about 3:47pm on Wednesday, February 7, police responded to a report of an 11-year-old girl being shot. The caller indicated that someone was shooting the girl inside the home in a suburban area in East Lansdowne.

Upon arrival to the residence, the two responding officers were both shot once by someone inside the home, according to Delaware District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer. Officers fired back but it's unclear whether they struck anyone. 

Upper Darby Police Department officers were able to use ballistic shields for cover and drag the injured officers to safety as gunfire continued, according to police.

According to the DA’s office, Officer John Meehan, a 22-year veteran of ELPD, required “a lengthy surgery” after suffering a gunshot wound to the left arm. He's still being treated in the hospital. Officer David Schiazza, a 22-year veteran of LPD, has been released from the hospital after suffering a gunshot wound to his leg. 

As the active shooter situation was unfolding, the residence caught on fire. Despite the presence of the fire department, the flames were unable to be extinguished due to continued gunfire coming out of the home.

“Officers were still taking gunfire, police officers and the fire department who were out there, there was still shots coming out at the beginning of this fire scene,” Stollsteimer said.

According to NBC News, Huong V. Le is the owner of the residence. Le told NBC News that the home was occupied by his two adult sons, a daughter-in-law, along with a grandson and two granddaughters. At this point, all six of the family members are missing and feared dead.

On Thursday, three bodies were recovered from the home. It has been confirmed by officials that one was the shooter. It is believed that one of the other two recovered is a child. The other three missing are still believed to be inside the home, Stollsteimer said on Thursday.

While officials have not identified any of the deceased, a family member has come forward and identified two of the adults. The family member reports that 37-year-old Britni McLaughlin-Le and 40-year-old Xuong Le are deceased. The couple had three children and had been married for 17 years.

"What we suspect, looks like it's true, that the family has been killed inside the home," Stollsteimer said. "We think there might be three other people in the home. That's our expectation, frankly, our sad expectation."

It's unclear whether the family members recovered were deceased prior to the fire or if they died in the flames. It's also unclear at exactly what point and how the fire, which left the house almost completely demolished, was started.

In a statement, the McLaughlin family said, “Our hearts are broken and we vow to cherish the memories of our loved ones and we will work to ensure that their legacies live on. We would like to express our sincere and heartfelt gratitude for your thoughts, prayers, and condolences during this difficult time.”

Governor Josh Shapiro took to social media to respond to the incident. In a statement on X posted Thursday, Governor Shapiro said, “I’m thankful for every first responder who ran towards danger yesterday evening, including both officers that were wounded in the line of duty. The Lansdowne, East Lansdowne, and Upper Darby communities and first responders who worked to save all they could are in Lori and I’s prayers.”

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