A deadly Bensalem standoff that drew police from around Lower Bucks County involved three people, two of them wanted in connection with a double homicide.
Bensalem police officials confirmed Saturday evening that 34-year-old Lloyd Wayne Franklin and 38-year-old Jennifer Michelle Lanning, both of whom were wanted in connection to a double homicide in Davidson County, North Carolina, were in a room at the Knights Inn on Lincoln Highway when officers arrived to arrest a third man – James Miller, whose age and hometown were not released – who was wanted to a state parole violation.
Officers made entry to room 142 of the motel around 2:30 p.m. Saturday afternoon after learning Miller was wanted. Upon entering, officers were fired upon and retreated in fear of their lives, police said.
As officers took cover and gained tactical positions around the motel room, an area SWAT team was called to the scene. A perimeter around the Knights Inn was established and officers from around Lower Bucks County, including Bristol, Langhorne and Middletown, rushed to the scene, an official on the scene said.
A roughly three-hour standoff ensued, with an armored Lenco Bearcat SWAT vehicle being stationed in the motel courtyard. A robot used by police to make entry to dangerous situations was brought to the motel.
Police said Franklin was found deceased in the motel room of an “apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head” after Lanning and Miller were arrested.
Franklin and Lanning were both actively being sought by local authorities in North Carolina and the United States Marshal Service in connection with the murder of Davie Lee McSwain, 82, and Joan McSwain, 78, who were both found dead in their North Carolina home last week after a robbery attempt. The two suspects also may have been involved in a drug store robbery in the south.
The Davidson County sheriff called Franklin and Lanning “dangerous and desperate.”
“I think what makes this especially heinous is these individuals were in their home just doing what they are supposed to be doing… and then this individual enters in there for whatever reason, to get a little cash or whatever reason they came in for, and it culminates in both these folks being killed. I’m sorry, but that’s just trash,” Davidson County Sheriff David Grice told Fox 8.
As of Saturday night, the connection between Miller and the two suspects in the double homicide was not clear. One source reported to LevittownNow.com Miller initially told officers he was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the standoff started.
An agent from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation said at a press conference earlier in the week that Franklin and Lanning were believed to be traveling in a blue mini-van stolen from the homicide suspects.
Lanning is expected to be charged in Bucks County and extradited to North Carolina.