NATIONAL NEWS

Man accused of killing family members in Pennsylvania facing charges in 2 states

Mar 17, 2024, 8:54 AM | Updated: 5:04 pm

LEVITTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A man faces murder charges in Pennsylvania and carjacking and weapons charges in New Jersey after allegedly killing three family members, carjacking vehicles in both states and evading law enforcement for hours as police mobilized in two states, authorities said Sunday.

Andre Gordon Jr., 26, is charged in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, with three counts of first- and second-degree murder, aggravated assault, robbery and other charges, according to court documents. In New Jersey, Gordon is charged with first-degree carjacking and weapons offenses, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin said in a statement Sunday.

“The string of violent acts … is the latest in a horrific litany of illustrations of how illegal guns and assault rifles can empower one aggrieved and disturbed actor,” Platkin said. “We will pursue justice for the victims and hold the defendant accountable for his reprehensible actions.”

Court documents in Pennsylvania don’t list an attorney for Gordon and a number listed in his name wasn’t in service. New Jersey authorities said they had no information as yet on a defense attorney for Gordon in that state.

Gordon carjacked a vehicle in Trenton around 8:40 a.m. Saturday before driving to Levittown in Falls Township, Pennsylvania, and killing his stepmother and sister, authorities said. He then drove to a second location in Levittown and killed the mother of his two children, authorities said.

The victims were identified by Bucks County District Attorney Jennifer Schorn on Saturday as the suspect’s 52-year-old stepmother, Karen Gordon; and his 13-year-old sister, Kera Gordon; and 25-year-old Taylor Daniel, the mother of his two children, who were present at the time of the shooting in that home. He is also charged with having beaten Daniel’s mother with the assault weapon; she was taken to a hospital for treatment.

He then carjacked a second vehicle in Morrisville and returned to Trenton, authorities said. Police surrounded a home for hours in the belief that he was there, but Gordon apparently slipped out before the police cordon went up. He was arrested at around 5 p.m., unarmed, when he was spotted walking down a street a few blocks away, police said.

Officials in Pennsylvania said they couldn’t yet speak to a motive for the attacks. While Gordon had had some minor brushes with the law, they were “nothing that would indicate that anything like this would happen,” Falls Township Police Chief Nelson Whitney said at a news conference.

The mayhem forced the cancellation of a St. Patrick’s Day parade and shut down a Sesame Street-themed amusement park, and a number of other businesses elected to close as well, authorities said. Authorities in Pennsylvania’s Bucks County issued a shelter-in-place order for some areas for several hours.

Platkin said the crimes “alarmed and terrorized communities in Bucks and Mercer counties.”

Gordon is currently being held is being lodged at the Mercer County Correction Center. Trenton Police Director Steve Wilson said Gordon would be extradited to Pennsylvania “at some point.”

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Man accused of killing family members in Pennsylvania facing charges in 2 states