PHILADELPHIA (AP) — When police knocked on the door of a Pennsylvania motel room where a man suspected in a North Carolina double slaying was staying, he apparently figured he'd been caught and took his own life shortly after firing at the officers and missing.
But the officers knew nothing of the North Carolina crimes and were there to arrest another man in the room on a parole violation.
Bensalem Public Safety Director Fred Harran said Sunday that an autopsy confirm that Lloyd Wayne Franklin died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He said it also confirmed Franklin had two bullet wounds from one of his suspected slaying victims.
Franklin, 34, and Jennifer Michelle Lanning, 38, had been on the run since Oct. 29, when police found 82-year-old Davie Lee McSwain and his 78-year-old wife Joan dead in their Thomasville, North Carolina, home.
Authorities believe Davie McSwain had shot Franklin before he was killed. After Franklin fled with a gun stolen from the home, police said, he picked up Lanning and the two stole prescription painkillers during pharmacy robberies in Aberdeen and Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, and Georgetown, South Carolina, before apparently heading north.
Bensalem officers were patrolling near the Knights Inn in Trevose on Saturday afternoon when they discovered that a man staying in one of the rooms had an active Pennsylvania arrest warrant on a parole violation. But when they approached the room, they had no idea that the North Carolina murder suspects also were inside, authorities said.
The officers entered the room but were fired upon and took cover outside. They were joined by other officers and a SWAT team that converged on the scene. Lanning later surrendered and told police two men were in the room. The other man held police at bay for more than two hours before he also surrendered. Franklin was found dead inside.
The other man, identified as James Miller, was to be sent to the Bucks County Correctional Facility.