Suspect in Pa. shootings charged with multiple counts including carjacking after family members killed

The man accused of fatally shooting his family members, including a 13-year-old girl, in Pennsylvania before he fled to New Jersey Saturday was charged with multiple criminal offenses Sunday, authorities said.

New Jersey authorities charged the suspect, Andre Gordon, 26, with carjacking, second-degree possession of a weapon for an unlawful purpose, second-degree unlawful possession of an assault firearm, third-degree unlawful possession of a firearm without a serial number, third-degree receiving stolen property, fourth-degree unlawful possession of large-capacity ammunition and fourth-degree possession of hollow-point ammunition, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin's office said.

Charges in Pennsylvania are pending.

Gordon, 26, is alleged to have carjacked a driver in Trenton to get to Levittown, Pennsylvania, where he's suspected of killing the victims at two locations Saturday morning, Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora said in an interview.

Police said he then carjacked another driver at gunpoint and fled to New Jersey, where he lives. Gusciora said SWAT team members and other officers surrounded the home and evacuated neighbors because people inside told authorities they believed Gordon was inside on the first floor.

Police were in standoff mode, surrounding the residence and blocking off streets, but the suspect wasn't home.

"It’s apparent that he left before the police arrived," Gusciora said. "The people that were still in the house on the second floor believed, and they relayed to them through 911 calls, that he was still downstairs."

Gordon was spotted on New York Avenue at the back entrance of a hospital less than a quarter-mile away at 5:15 p.m. and taken into custody without incident, Trenton police officials said.

"My understanding is he was walking down the street," Gusciora said.

Police remove people from a home in Trenton New Jersey. (Joe Lamberti / AFP - Getty Images)
Police remove people from a home in Trenton New Jersey. (Joe Lamberti / AFP - Getty Images)

Lisette Rios, a spokesperson for Trenton police, said earlier Saturday that authorities believed no one who could be used as a hostage was in Gordon's home and that he was believed to be there alone.

Despite the arrest elsewhere, Gusciora said he didn't regret evacuating some of Gordon's neighbors while telling others to shelter in place.

"We value life, and we wanted to make sure that we err on the side of caution to tell people to stay in your home," Gusciora said. "The suspect was still out and about."

The incident began around 8:52 a.m., when officers were dispatched to a residence on Viewpoint Lane in Levittown following a report of a shooting, Falls Township, Pennsylvania, police said in a news release.

Jennifer Schorn, the district attorney in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, said Gordon, driving a stolen vehicle from Trenton, forced his way into the home and killed his stepmother, Karen Gordon, 52, and 13-year-old sister, Kera Gordon.

Three other people in the home, including a minor, “were able to hide and avoid being shot by Gordon as he went through the house searching for them,” she said at a news conference Saturday afternoon.

Andre Gordon Jr. (Falls Township Police Department)
Andre Gordon Jr. (Falls Township Police Department)

After that incident, Gordon went to a residence on Edgewood Lane in Levittown, where he shot and killed Taylor Daniel, 25, with whom he shares two children, Schorn alleged.

Four other people were in the home, including a person who was injured when Gordon “bludgeoned” her with an "assault rifle," Schorn said. The woman was taken to the hospital for her injuries and is expected to recover.

Falls Township Police Chief Nelson Whitney said Gordon was armed with an AR-15-style rifle.

At around 9:13 a.m., he carjacked a 44-year-old man at gunpoint in the parking lot of a Dollar General store in Morrisville, authorities alleged. The driver wasn't injured, they said.

The shooter fled the area in a 2016 gray Honda CRV with a Pennsylvania license plate and a “Namaste” sticker in white letters on the right bumper, according to authorities.

The vehicle was found unoccupied in Trenton around 11:38 a.m., the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office said.

The district attorney’s office said that at about 12:22 p.m., it received information that Gordon had barricaded himself with hostages in a home in Trenton.

A police officer patrols a neighborhood  (Joe Lamberti / AFP - Getty Images)
A police officer patrols a neighborhood (Joe Lamberti / AFP - Getty Images)

“We are referring all information regarding that aspect of this investigation to the Trenton City Police Department,” the district attorney’s office said.

Police in Pennsylvania had said earlier that Gordon was homeless, with connections to Trenton. They said he had a semiautomatic rifle, which they alleged he used in the shootings. Police said he could have additional weapons and cautioned that he was “extremely dangerous.”

The shootings led to a shelter-in-place order in Falls Township. Police had told residents to lock their doors and move to secure locations away from windows. The shelter-in-place order was lifted Saturday afternoon.

A Bucks County St. Patrick’s Day parade scheduled for Saturday morning was canceled, and the Pennsbury School District postponed activities.

Police evacuate a person from a home. (Joe Lamberti / AFP - Getty Images)
Police evacuate a person from a home. (Joe Lamberti / AFP - Getty Images)

In nearby Middletown Township, residents were told not to travel to Falls Township. Middletown Township police later said they had “received information that we are all clear.”

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., said he was in touch with law enforcement.

Gov. Josh Shapiro said he was briefed and had asked state police to assist local law enforcement.

Whitney said that authorities had minor contact with Gordon in the past but that it was “nothing that would indicate anything like this would happen.”

Levittown, a model American suburb named for developer William Levitt, is known for its cost-efficient, assembly line housing, erected amid high demand for living quarters after World War II. It's in the Philadelphia metropolitan area, about 26 miles from the city.

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