Man kills 4 family members, self in Philadelphia suburb

Wednesday, January 16, 2002

ARDMORE, Pa. -- A man fatally shot four relatives Tuesday before killing himself at a home in this Philadelphia suburb, police said.

The man, identified as Michael Burgess, used a handgun to shoot and kill his wife, her parents, his stepdaughter and himself, said Lower Merion Township Police Superintendent Joseph Daly.

Daly said a female called police from the home asking for help.

"There was some shouting in the background and the line went dead. The dispatcher attempted to call back and there was no response," Daly said.

Police found the gunman's wounded father-in-law in the back yard. He was able to tell police that the shooter was inside.

The father-in-law later died, Daly said. Police found three bodies on the first floor and the girl on the second floor.

Daly said Burgess had disrupted a church service on Sunday, prompting a call to police, but he could provide no further details about the incident.

Lower Merion Township, which includes Ardmore and borders Philadelphia, is one of the state's wealthiest suburbs.

Residents said the street was blocked off Tuesday night and that police weren't letting them leave their houses.

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