Warminster Standoff Kills 1 Woman, Narrowly Misses Another - New York News

Bucks County DA Identifies Victim In Warminster Standoff

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Andrew Cairns, 49, is seen as he is escorted into a courtroom in Bucks County Wednesday. Andrew Cairns, 49, is seen as he is escorted into a courtroom in Bucks County Wednesday.
Warminster, PA -

The man who police say fired at officers and barricaded himself inside his Warminster apartment for almost seven hours is behind bars, being held on $10 million bail.  At the same time, authorities identified the elderly woman killed in the crossfire.

Andrew Cairns kept quiet as police escorted him into district court Wednesday.  The 49-year-old had more to say once inside, where he was accused of attempting to murder six police officers.  Cairns asked the judge to release him on his own recognizance, but the judge laughed and instead told Cairns he'd have to post 10 percent, or $1 million, to get bail.

Cairns afterwards insisted to reporters he was innocent.  But police say he's the reason an elderly woman is dead.  It all started just before 8 o'clock Tuesday night, at the back of a large apartment complex on Street Road.  According to investigators, Cairns' girlfriend called police, saying he wanted to shoot himself.  When officers arrived, they say he shot at them instead.  So they fired back.

Renee Sharon, a resident of the apartment complex, peeked out her door to see what was happening.  "The police officer yelled to me, get in!  And I'm hearing these blasts, oh my God."  Basil Milton, another resident, described what happened as the standoff stretched on.  "They just kept on asking him to surrender and come out, and he wasn't showing up."

The elderly victim, identified as 89-year-old Marie Zienkewicz, lived in the apartment just below Cairns.  Zienkewicz died in the crossfire, from a gunshot to her chest.  Detectives are investigating who actually fired the fatal shot.  "It's a terrible tragedy no matter who's at fault  here," Matt Weintraub, a Bucks County Assistant District Attorney told reporters.  "Obviously that still needs to be sorted out," Weintraub added.

Two women actually could have died in the gun battle Tuesday night.  A bullet traveled through the apartment complex, across all four lanes of busy Street Road, and into the back of a home about a half mile away.  The slug entered Deanna Gorman's bedroom, just above her bed.  "All I know is that I was sitting in the computer room when I heard this loud bang," Gorman said.

Cairns eventually surrendered about 2:30 Wednesday morning.  He's charged with attempted murder, but the assistant DA said more charges could still be filed.

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