A West Chester man suspected in a Philadelphia homicide and abduction killed himself Monday after a nine-hour standoff in an upscale restaurant's parking lot, West Chester police said.At an afternoon news conference, West Chester Police Chief Scott Bohn said Daniel Krieg, 42, of the 200 block of West Barnard Street, shot himself to end the standoff. Bohn said the series of tragic events began shortly after midnight Monday when Krieg's relationship with a Philadelphia woman ended badly.
Krieg shot himself with a 9 mm handgun as he sat in his car in the Simon Pearce restaurant parking lot off Route 52. The lot is across the Brandywine Creek from Brandywine Picnic Park, formerly the Lenape Amusement Park.
Cpl. Michael King, a state police negotiator from Avondale, talked with Krieg for as long as nine hours but was unable to convince him to surrender.
King "did an admirable job trying to convince the decedent from doing the action that he was very determined to do," said First Assistant District Attorney Patrick Carmody. "This guy was very determined to do it. There is nothing more that could have been done."
The standoff with Krieg caused road closures and a delayed opening at an elementary school Monday.
According to a timeline laid out by Bohn:
Shortly after midnight Monday, Krieg contacted his parents and told them he wanted to commit suicide. His parents then called borough police, who visited Krieg's apartment and learned Krieg's 9 mm handgun was missing.
After calling his parents, Krieg drove to the Spring Garden section of Philadelphia. There, he allegedly shot and killed a man in the 1200 block of Brandywine Street and abducted a woman as she got out of a car with the other man.
The woman was identified only as a 27-year-old female from Philadelphia. "My understanding is they were in a relationship, but it ended a month ago," Bohn said.
Bohn also did not disclose the identity of the homicide victim and did not characterize his relationship with the woman.
Krieg then reportedly drove around with the woman for a few hours until she convinced him to release her at his parents' house in the Radley Run development in Birmingham, a short distance from the Simon Pearce restaurant. She then used his parents' phone to contact West Chester police about 4:09 a.m.
West Chester police spotted Krieg traveling south on Route 52 in a silver rental car about 4:29 a.m.
Krieg pulled into the restaurant's parking lot and put a firearm to his head when police approached the vehicle.
About 4:40 a.m. Philadelphia police confirmed the man in Philadelphia had been fatally shot. Police contained Krieg to the parking lot and shut down nearby roads just before morning rush-hour traffic started.
King negotiated with Krieg by phone before Krieg shot himself about 1:56 p.m.
Krieg had reportedly been employed at Pet Memorial Services in West Goshen, an animal mortuary on Westtown Road, but a woman who answered the phone there Monday afternoon said he had left the company and declined to give any details.
Route 52 was closed at Denton Hollow Road and Creek Road, and Pocopson Road was closed between Street Road (Route 926) and Lenape Road because of the incident.
About one mile from the restaurant, Pocopson Elementary School had a two-hour opening delay and morning kindergarten there was canceled after officials learned of the standoff.
Unionville Chadds-Ford School District Superintendent Sharon Parker sent a phone text message at noon Monday to the elementary school's parents informing them of the situation.
"Based on the initial report, I elected to delay the opening of school by two hours. In doing so, we were able to reduce traffic flow to the critical area and assure the well-being of commuting children," Parker said.
The district received six updates from police indicating there would be "no danger to commuting students and staff, and that the situation was contained," Parker said.
"At no time was there a threat of violence directed to the students, staff or the Pocopson facility," Parker wrote. "All police action occurred one mile from our school site."
Debbie Oddi, store manager at the Brandywine Ace Hardware on Pocopson Road, said the store opened on time. She said the store owner spoke with police Monday morning and police allowed customers access to the store.
"We're conducting business as usual," Oddi said. "The police are doing a good job."
A Lenape Forged Products Corp. employee who declined to give his name said the business sent workers home after talking with police. The business is next to the restaurant.
Some neighbors said they were unaware of the incident Monday afternoon.
"I haven't seen or heard anything," said Elizabeth Ellis of Wayne Drive.
Pocopson Road resident Paul Haldeman said he received a phone call from a neighbor in East Bradford warning him to stay away from the area because of traffic.
"I haven't heard anything I really don't know anything," said David Howard Mumford of Rodney Drive.
State police at the Avondale barracks are investigating the suicide and Philadelphia police are investigating the homicide, according to Bohn.