BETHLEHEM, Pa. – A man who killed his mother and then fired more than 100 rounds at the police as her body lay in a yard during an eight-hour stand-off before killing himself was not allowed to have firearms and probably obtained from his father, who killed himself days after the rampage, authorities said.
State police on Tuesday identified Marylouise Meixell-Moyer as the woman shot 11 times in Bethlehem Township by Justin Kephart.
Kephart began to shoot at the police after an officer responded to a call about the woman’s body on Friday, the officials said. A bullet whizzed by an officer in the head as he peaked from behind a parked car as he tried to figure out where the photos were coming from.
The police called in an armored vehicle of the police in the quiet suburb about 55 miles (90 kilometers) north of Philadelphia as authorities closed of the area. But Kephart does not relent, keep shooting at the police from inside the house.
Officials do not know what the cause of the rampage but said Kephart had a number of “current issues” with his mother and called his father to tell him that he had killed, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli said.
“It is difficult to get into the mind of someone like this,” Morganelli said, adding that the scene was like a “war zone.”
The police found Kephart with a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, officials said. Around his body were two semi-automatic rifles, a shotgun and dozens of spent rounds.
Authorities said Kephart had a criminal record that prevented him from obtaining a gun, but said that he probably got the weapons from his father.
Kephart is the father of Dale C. Kephart, killed on the first day of christmas, a coroner’s office in a neighboring province said.