DA: Police Bullet Killed Innocent Neighbor at Jefferson on the Creek
Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler calls the actions by police 'excusable' and says he will not seek to prosecute the officers.
Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said 89-year-old Marie Zienkewicz died being a good neighbor.
In a press conference Thursday afternoon, Heckler said Zienkewicz opened her door to help her neighbor during a shootout between police and Andrew Cairns when she was hit by a bullet fired from a police rifle
The woman Heckler said Zienkewicz was trying to help, Deborah Silva, was the girlfriend of Cairns. Heckler said Cairns fired at least 19 rounds at officers who were responding to a call from Silva to their apartment at the Jefferson on the Creek complex.
Heckler said police believed it was Cairns emerging from the apartment when Zienkewicz opened her door.
"Under these circumstances, I don't believe it would be proper to prosecute the police officer who fired the shot, and I will not do so," said Heckler. "Although, certainly, the result is tragic."
Cairns is currently being held at the Bucks County Correctional Facility on bail of $10 million. Thursday morning he was arraigned on an additional charge of criminal homicide, for the death of Zienkewicz.
Heckler said Cairns was given the added charge of criminal homicide based on the legal principal of transferred intent.
“[Cairns] is ultimately responsible for the deadly consequences of the chain of events which he began,” he said. ““[Cairns] is responsible for Mrs. Zienkewicz ‘s death on the basis of his intentional acts to harm the police."