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Police: Troopers shoot, kill man after two-state crime spree

Police: Troopers shoot, kill man after two-state crime spree
Police: Troopers shoot, kill man after two-state crime spree 03:11

WYOMISSING, Pa. (CBS) -- A man linked to a violent crime spree across two states was killed in a shootout with Pennsylvania State Police in Berks County Thursday night.

According to police sources, officers shot and killed the man at a home in Wyomissing, after he allegedly shot multiple people in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Police sources identified the man as Vaughn Perkins, 53, of Philadelphia.

Nine officers from the state police, Reading, West Reading and Wyomissing departments are on administrative leave after the fatal shooting. Prosecutors wouldn't say much about the moments immediately before officers opened fire and they wouldn't say if police body camera footage would be released to the public.

A Wyomissing neighbor's home camera picked up the sounds of sirens and then gunfire as police engaged in a shootout with man investigators say was wanted for murder in Camden County and a double shooting in South Philadelphia.

Jesse Dunda heard it all.

"We heard all the sirens, we weren't sure what was going on and then we started hearing shots backyard and we're like ok that's not normal," Dunda said. "We ran outside and suddenly they were like 50 cars on the block, all these cars up and down the street they had the road closed off."

Just after 6 p.m. Thursday, police across the Delaware Valley got an alert about a man wanted for a double homicide from Monday in Gloucester Township.

Investigators identified Perkins as the suspect and say he fatally shot a man and woman in a Camden County motel and then set a room on fire. The Camden County Prosecutor's Office said Tabitha Price, 56 and Steven Smith, 52, were found in a room of a motel on Route 130 with gunshot wounds Monday night.

Price is from Gulf Shores, Alabama, and Smith is from Atco, New Jersey, the office said in a news release. Firefighters put out a fire that was set in another room, separate from where Price and Smith were found.

And then late Thursday afternoon, Philadelphia police say Perkins was driving down Taney Terrace in South Philadelphia when they say two people on a porch laughed at Perkins for hitting a speed bump.

Investigators say he responded and opened fire on the pair, critically wounding a man in his 50s.

CBS News Philadelphia

One was hit in the chest and head and was taken to Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in extremely critical condition.

The other victim was shot in the shoulder and taken to Presbyterian in stable condition.

Police say the shooting was caught on surveillance camera and they quickly put out information on the man's vehicle.

After fleeing the scene of the shooting, U.S. Marshals then helped to track him down.

A man was killed in a shootout with police on this Wyomissing street after sources said he was involved in two double shootings in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. CBS News Philadelphia

Some 50 miles West, an officer near the Berkshire Mall saw Perkin's vehicle and started following. Investigators say Perkins ended up driving and crashing in a Spring Street Wyomissing backyard.

"Multiple units both PSP and law enforcement surrounded and gave commands to him," Pa state police captain Robert Bailey said.

He failed to obey and they discharged their firearms at the suspect.

Sources say Perkins fled from a traffic stop before getting into a shootout with police on Spring Street in Wyomissing. The suspect was shot by police and pronounced dead at the scene.

Saying the investigation was only in its early stages, prosecutors declined to say how many times Perkins was hit or if he shot at officers.

"A very dangerous person was taken off the streets last evening," Berks County DA John Adams said. "I'm not sure his motive, but he was on a one-man violent crime spree."

Police and prosecutors also add that Perkins had a rifle across his chest when they approached his car that crashed.

Watch below the State police news conference.

State police provide update after Troopers shoot, kill man who went on 2-state crime spree 16:04
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