10/08/2005

Three dead, including suspect, in shootings near Philadelphia strip malls

By PATRICK WALTERS
Associated Press Writer

PHILADELPHIA- A man shot to death a woman inside his car at a strip mall, then drove to another shopping center parking lot where he shot and killed a second woman before killing himself, police said.

An off-duty highway police officer saw the first shooting shortly after 10 a.m. in northeast Philadelphia and flagged down an on-duty officer who was on his way to a police funeral in Bucks County, authorities said.

The two officers followed the suspect's car about a mile to another strip mall, where the man shot the second woman outside a deli, said police Cpl. Jim Pauley.

Authorities said they believe the shooting of the second woman was not random.

"We do believe this was the intentional victim," police Inspector Carl Holmes said.

After an exchange of gunfire between the on-duty officer and the suspect, the gunman then got back into his car and shot himself in the head with his .40-caliber automatic pistol, Pauley said.

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