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Confusing Addresses Cited in Accidental Police Shooting

The Bucks County District Attorney says a 'perfect storm of events' led to the tragic police shooting of 89-year-old Marie Zienkewicz.

Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said that the accidental shooting by police of an 89-year-old Warminster woman was partly caused by the the non sequential door-numbering system at the apartment complex where she lived.

Heckler said that when Marie Zienkewicz opened her door Feb. 20 to help her neighbor during a shootout at the Jefferson on the Creek Apartments, police believed it was the gunman emerging from his apartment.

Heckler said the apartment numbering system utilized by Jefferson on the Creek, coupled with a low-light situation, led police to fire at Zienkewicz in what he called "a tragic mistake."

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Steve March 08, 2013 at 01:53 AM
In other words.....he didn't check his target before he fired.
frank March 08, 2013 at 02:13 AM
exactly what I was thinking!!
Charles Johnson March 08, 2013 at 10:52 AM
OH heaven help us, we didn't know we had the wrong door. Well before you go tromping around people's domiciles armed to the teeth with all that SWAT stuff you just can't wait to use in real life, could you please kind of make a point to get the right address!!! Morons! This poor lady was shot dead when she opened the door of her home. Then, law enforcement spent the past few weeks pretending they didn't know how she died, which was a baldfaced lie. Now they are hiding behind Heckler saying please don't hold us accountable. I am certain Heckler would feel very different about this if that were his mother. !
Laurie March 08, 2013 at 01:40 PM
confusing addresses????!!!! that's a bunch of bull...! the guy fired at the cops first - they didn't know from which direction the shots were fired?! one of the cops was trigger happy (conveniently didn't find a bullet to tell which one), and shot an innocent old lady dead! THE COP SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE!
Bobz March 08, 2013 at 01:57 PM
My condolences to the friends and family of Marie Zienkewicz, who was the victim of idiotic police officers who can't tell the difference between a man and a woman in exercising deadly force. Where are the idiots who ALWAYS defend the stupid police? First lesson in hunter's safety classes for pre-teens: IF YOU'RE NOT 100% SURE WHAT YOU'RE SHOOTING AT DON'T FIRE YOUR GUN! These clowns are the ones protecting us? Their solution: a sniper 100 yds away kill a distraught 42 yr. old man and instead kill an 89 yr. old woman? Notice plenty of lame excuses (the numbering system of the complex is to blame? Are you kidding me!?!?!?) and deflection from the acts of the ONE who fired the killing shot? If the taxpayers and local citizens aren't outraged by the poor judgement and decision making by this dumb Keystone cop and the stupid Bucks D.A. Heckler's pretzel logic in clearing the officer, I don't know what it will take. Time for "We The People" to let D.A. Heckler know how we feel and hold a candlelight vigil for this poor woman to let her and her family know we will hold the dumb@ss police officer that killed her responsible and accountable for his actions. Anyone know a crackerjack civli lawyer to sue Bucks County, the Warminster Police and the officer that took Marie Zienkewicz's life? A huge monetary judgement against these clowns might be what it takes to send the message to these dolts. This is outrageous and embarrassing to the people of Bucks County.
Tony March 08, 2013 at 02:56 PM
And as I said on another post. Cairns is being charged for the police actions of shooting a woman before identifying it was their target. The guy did a lot of stupid things and deserves to be charged for all of them but this is ridiculous
Private March 08, 2013 at 06:56 PM
If the dumb ass Cairns didn't start all this bull to begin with, police would not have been called to the scene and none of this would have happened. It is 100% his fault!!
Bobz March 08, 2013 at 08:45 PM
If the dumb ass police officer that pulled the trigger had actually tried to identify the target he was shooting at as Cairns the death of Marie Zienkewicz would not have occurred, since she wasn't Cairns. It is 100% the fault of anyone who pulls a trigger to know what they are shooting at and where the bullet they are shooting at will end up. No excuse for this nonsense, we're talking about trained professionals here, not untrained amateur volunteers or community watch types. We need to get the FBI involved to find out who gave permission to fire the shots at Marie Zienkewicz and the neighbor who Zienkewicz was trying to get to safety. Why is criminally negligent homicide on the law books if someone recklessly fires a gun at innocent citizens to kill, kills then states it was a matter of mistaken identity. The cop is an incompetent employee who caused the death of an 89 yr old woman while on the job, who needs to be prosecuted for negligent homicide.
steve w March 08, 2013 at 10:07 PM
when you fire a rifle, you aim.......obviously his aim was horrible...
steve w March 08, 2013 at 10:09 PM
basically, just another cover-up!!
Last of the bunch March 09, 2013 at 12:26 PM
This sentence actually worries me...."Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said that the accidental shooting by police of an 89-year-old Warminster woman was partly caused by the the non sequential door-numbering system at the apartment complex where she lived." The numbers on the doors were 2002 and 2004 in a recent photo. Doesn't 2006 come next? I realize this was during an intense situation but officers were there earlier. Top officials should have made sure officers knew which door was the correct one. Many homes in Warminster do not run in immediate order. Many houses on any given block may run 650 and the next home is 656. That worries me that in an intense situation officers might fire at the wrong home again if that is the reason being touted by officials. Just a thought.
dawa March 09, 2013 at 08:39 PM
Heckler must be getting a lot of campaign contributions from all the local police benevolent associations as no police officers involved in killing civilians have been prosecuted to date
Carl W March 10, 2013 at 09:07 PM
Exactly, guys!
Carl W March 10, 2013 at 09:11 PM
I'm sure there's a lot of difference in the looks of the shooter, and an 89-yr.-old woman. S***w the D. A. Time for State Police, and/or Pa. Justice Dept, (F.B.I)? Panicked officer murders, and no one does anything?????
FJC March 10, 2013 at 09:20 PM
Dumb n Dumber Thats why I carry a gun. I would sue the Po-Po This just goes to show you what is out there protecting you n your family
Carl W March 10, 2013 at 09:21 PM
"Panic fire..." Absolutely remove the badge !!!
L.A.D March 10, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Heres why I have a problem with this story; 1. The police were at this location earlier that day for a domestic. 2. When they came back the second time - the female half of this dynamic duo came out of the apartment first. She even lingered in the doorway before stumbling out. They had a clear view of her. 3. They were given the layout of the apartment. They knew what room you walked into first, where the bedroom was, etc. 4. They evacuated other tenants of this complex. So why on earth not the apartment directly next to the target?. If I were the relative of this poor victim I would be asking for a full investigation
Jo O'Shaughnessy March 10, 2013 at 09:46 PM
It is a shame that the woman couldn't follow simple instructions from 911. Please stop blaming the police! You have 2 drunk people, fighting and guns in the house! HELLO......with the 911 call if she would have listened to the instruction to run to the front of the complex the police would have had time to put a plan together, but NO the woman had a few too many drinks and couldn't mentally understand that she needed to get to the front of the complex! This forced the police to go in blind to protect the rest of us who live here!!!!! She went back to the door when the neighbor opened her door they tried to save the one on the phone and believed that was the apartment. If you can do better than the police and the SWAT team then put on the uniform, let people shot at you and let's see what happens!
Laurie March 11, 2013 at 03:20 AM
@keeping it real - you have no idea what real is. the bottom line is a stupid, panicky cop killed an innocent person who was trying to help!!! like everyone's been saying, HE should be held accountable for his actions!
JOE MAC March 11, 2013 at 05:43 AM
@ keeping it real....once again the stupid moron cops (warminster) DID NOT COMMUNICATE the idiot cop is a asshole! Dont feed me that political bullshit you did not know what door it was when you were there earlier for a domestic. If that was your mom you would be pissed off and if you are a man resign at your job. Does anybody know they were at the same apartments about 2 weeks before this happened because they thought someone in the complex was related to the shooting on countyline rd. They were running around like idiots and the guy came out and is a state mental dude who did not fit the picture of the guy who fired shots at the place off county line rd . i watched it. I understand shots being fired at you makes u nervous but there is No excuse to open fire at the wrong door...I live there and if that was my mom or the cops mom it would be a different story. You cops need to let proffesional swat team to do it the right way. The stupid ass who fired shots at police should have died but shame on you for a stupid mistake and open fire at the wrong person....I hope you feel good about that since you are not found responsable for your bad actions. The D.A. and investigaters are crooks and they should tell the truth that the warminster police fucked up!!!! You need more training why dont you try working in philly this is the suburbs get your shit togther and the so called investigators who lie out there ass
JOE MAC March 11, 2013 at 06:11 AM
Oh yeah, one more thing...Mr Heckler is a liar and he should burn in hell i watched his explanation but of course he failed to mention the police were there earlier so i would think since they walked in the door they should have communicated to the idiot who fired at an old lady trying to get the girlfriend inside. Yeah they were fucked up on booze or drugs but the guy who fired shots was on the second floor...No excuse at all! Im sure the police department will be paying alot of money in the future but we wont hear about that...Im not against cops but get your fucking shit together because you only get away with this stupid bullshit for so long....If that was my mom God only knows what i would do!
JOE MAC March 11, 2013 at 06:23 AM
YEP it is bullshit that idiot sniper would not have fired a shot if his family lived there i guess that was his excitment in the suburbs...what a prick!
JOE MAC March 11, 2013 at 06:30 AM
you dont know shit....yeah he is an asshole(cairns) but he didnt get shot an innnocent lady did...you would not say that if it was your mom so think twice about what you say
JOE MAC March 11, 2013 at 06:37 AM
True to the point...no excuse at all....once again political bullshit
JOE MAC March 11, 2013 at 06:49 AM
wake up idiot if you were near there taking a walk you might have been shot...HELLO
Jacque Sawyer March 11, 2013 at 03:01 PM
Whomever fired the bullet that killed this woman should be charged with her murder. If you or I made a mistake that cost someone their life this district attorney would hold us reponsible for their death. What do they say now after killing this poor woman "Sorry it was a mistake". There is no such thing as an accident there are only "Caused occurances". What if this mistake took the life on an officers mother, or the DAs' mother or aunt. Sorry we made a mistake and accidently killed your mother. How would a police officer like to hear "Sorry we made a mistake and killed your mother." This woman was murdered.
Chris Taylor Jr March 11, 2013 at 04:02 PM
I don't fully agree with this. the officer who fired the bullet should be fired and barred from law enforcement jobs in the future. he is clearly unable to perform the function without endangering the general public around him and even if it could be trained out of him he cost a life and that life must be paid for. it was NOT however murder. murder requires intent and I don't think anyone here things he MEANT to kill an 89yold innocent bystander. so murder is not on the table. but HE IS STILL responsible for her death and at the absolutely minimum it should cost him his job. he has violated his sworn oath by killing her when it could have very easily been avoided. I am tired of heating people say YOU put on the uniform and get shot at. #1 police work if voluntary. there is no police DRAFT so anyone in said uniform is in such VOLUNTARILY this means THEY CHOSE to do that work KNOWING what the risks are and they are TRAINED accordingly. what training did the 89yold get ? yeah thats what I thought so clam up your CRAP #2 they are trained and equipped for these situations. this should make them LESS trigger happy not MORE. if it makes them more then psychologically THEY SHOULD NOT BE POLICE OFFICERS. Period.
jeff bush March 11, 2013 at 06:42 PM
finally people are getting the big picture. cowboys with guns. the rule is when u fire your weapon know your target. dont just blindly fire into a occipied building. reduce the the whole force to tasers.
Proud to be an American March 11, 2013 at 08:15 PM
Keeping it real and Chris Taylor Jr - KUDOS!: I hope none of these other people ever have to call 911 and let's see you put on the badge and do the job. This is just a sad situation all around and an innocent life was taken. This whole mess was caused by some low life, drunk losers who should have just shot at each other! Take your own scumbag lives and leave everyone else out of it. From what I know, this couple were a drunken daily mess and the neighbors had to put up with this bullcrap all the time. Cairns could have easily hurt someone sooner, but NO dirtbags like this cannot be evicted because it's against their 'Civil Rights.' The police were not just 'randomly' shooting. They took a shot at the door that they thought the gunfire was coming from. Yes, the officer who did this should be terminated immediately and the D.A should not be making excuses. The Officer should take responsibility for his actions, but it certainly was not murder. For those of you that are shooting your mouths off, let's see you put on the uniform and wear that badge and do a better job!
Laurie March 13, 2013 at 02:59 AM
@Chris Taylor - my thoughts exactly!

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