More Details Emerge About Gunman
Authorities believe the failure of his marriage spurred Army captain to murder and suicide.
Carrie and Leonard Egland were estranged and nearing the end of a divorce when the decorated 18-year Army veteran went on a two-state killing spree that left five people dead and a little girl without her parents.
Police say Leonard Egland shot and killed his soon-to-be-ex-wife Carrie, a Doylestown native, along with her boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s son in Chesterfield County, Virginia, over the weekend.
Chesterfield County Police on Monday identified the victims found at the Eglands' home on Stockleigh Drive as Carrie Egland, 36, Scott T. Allred, 40, and Allred’s child, age 7. They went to the house shortly before 1 a.m. Sunday, acting on a tip from police in Pennsylvania, according to their statement.
Leonard Egland then drove to Bucks County, broke into Carrie’s mother’s house and killed her, even as Hurricane Irene was unleashing her own fury. Barbara Ruehl, 66, was found dead Saturday around midnight in her home at 3491 Church School Road in Buckingham Township.
Egland dropped his daughter, Lauryn, off at the emergency room at St. Luke’s Hospital in Quakertown Saturday night before ultimately killing himself on Sunday.
The tragedy left the girl without either of her parents.
She has been in the care of the Bucks County Children and Youth department, family members have said, but they have indicated there will be no shortage of loving arms ready to take her in.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the Army released more details about Egland’s time in the service.
Leonard Egland enlisted in the Army in February 1993, according to Keith Desbois, a public affairs officer for the Army. He was commissioned as an officer in 2006 and had risen to the rank of captain.
Over the course of his 18-year career, Egland served three tours in combat - Somalia in 1993, Afghanistan in 2004 and Iraq in 2009. He was a quartermaster, in charge of fuel supplies, Desbois said.
As the manhunt for Egland unfolded Sunday, searchers speculated that he had recently returned from a war zone and was suffering mental effects of immediate service there. But he had been in the States for nearly two years, having returned from Iraq on Sept. 20, 2009.
For his service in combat zones, Egland was awarded two Bronze Stars, Desbois said, along with 19 other Army awards and commendations.
The manhunt for Egland began around midnight on Saturday and lasted nearly 16 hours.
Two officers were wounded when Egland shot at them early Sunday morning. One, Doylestown Borough officer Ed Hilton, was injured by a bullet and another was injured by broken glass, but neither injury was life threatening.
Egland shot at police again in Warwick Much of Warwick Township was under lockdown Sunday as the search went on.
Police discovered Egland's body around 3:40 p.m. Sunday.
Carrie Egland had joined the Army in 1995, according to a profile done by a student magazine at Saint Leo’s University. She and Egland both studied at the school, which offers flexible and online classes to cater to the lifestyles of military personnel.
She and Leonard met at Fort Irwin, in California, and married in 1997, the profile said. They moved to Fort Lee in Virginia in 2002.
The woman who wrote that profile reacted in shock Monday as she learned of the tragedy.
"I am quite heartbroken and shocked about all of this," said Vicki Davis, an English teacher at Saint Leo.
Davis remembers the Eglands for their dedication to continuing their education, even under the difficult circumstances of working and raising a child.
She also remembers seeing them at several community events, including a remembrance walk in 2007 for the victims of Sept. 11.
"They both delighted in their daughter," Davis remembered, "and I thought to myself several times what a wonderful family they were."
Friends of the family in Bucks County declined requests for comment Monday, saying the grief was too fresh.
A friend who worked with Carrie Egland at the Defense Supply Center in Richmond, Va. on Tuesday remembered her as a good friend and the person co-workers could turn to when they needed help.
“Carrie was the friendliest person I’ve met in a long time,” Brianne Silva said. “She was always willing to help out and very willing to lend an ear.”
The shining light in Carrie’s life was her daughter Lauryn, Silva said.
“She absolutely adored her daughter,” Silva said. “Often we would sit and talk after work, and she loved to share how well Lauryn was doing in school, and how much fun she had in dance classes.”
“I remember hearing a lot about Carrie’s family during the happy times, and I know how hard it was for her to be separating from her husband.”