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East Lansdowne man shot, killed family members before setting fire after argument: Delco DA

Delco DA closes case after tragic East Lansdowne fire, shooting
Delco DA closes case after tragic East Lansdowne fire, shooting 02:09

EAST LANSDOWNE, Pa. (CBS) -- An East Lansdowne man shot and killed four of his family members and set a fire that killed his 10-year-old nephew, investigators said in a news conference.

Delaware County District Attorney Jack Stollsteimer said his office will soon close their case after six members of the Le family were found dead following a fire and shooting three weeks ago at their Lewis Avenue home on Feb. 7.

Investigators believe Canh Le killed five members of his family, including his brother, sister-in-law and the couple's three children. The community has since come together in mourning Xuong Le, his wife Britni McLaughlin-Le and their three children: 17-year-old Natalya, 13-year-old Nakayla and 10-year-old Xavier.

East Lansdowne murder case to close | DA confirms man shot family members, set fire after argument by CBS Philadelphia on YouTube

The incident began as an unspecified argument between Canh and Nakayla that turned deadly, Stollsteimer said, citing 911 calls and interviews with the children's grandparents and what was observed at the scene.

After that argument, police believe Canh Le shot four other relatives and also fired at police officers who were outside the home, wounding two of them. Investigators believe 10-year-old Xavier Le died of smoke inhalation and was not shot.

After setting the fire, it's believed Canh Le shot himself. No other weapons were found in the home besides a Diamondback DB15 semi-automatic gun that Stollsteimer said was found with Canh Le's remains.

The loss has devastated the community and the family. Stollsteimer said Canh and Xuong's parents came to the United States as refugees after the fall of the South Vietnamese government.

"They came here as refugees to build a new life, and they did so in a beautiful community. And in one fell swoop, for some unanswerable reason, everything that they held dear is now gone. I can't imagine being them," Stollsteimer said.

Stollsteimer said we'll likely never know what the argument was about that led to the shooting.

The two officers who were wounded are healing well but have not yet returned to work. A neighbor's videos showed Upper Darby police officers holding ballistic shields and protecting the wounded officers.

Derrick Richardson lives feet from the house on Lewis Avenue where the tragic fire and shooting happened.

"I'm heartbroken. They didn't deserve this," he said of the Le family.

Richardson said it's been a tough time for the entire neighborhood, but he's hopeful.

"As long as we can continue to come together as a community, that we'll heal and we'll see better days," Richardson said.

East Lansdowne Mayor Majovie Bland said there will be a community healing event at East Lansdowne Elementary School on March 9, where people can get access to resources to help them cope with this tragedy.

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