Knife-wielding man fatally shot by police

Tony Devine, a Bristol Borough councilman and Neshaminy teacher, is the son of Michael Devine.

A knife-wielding Langhorne man who lured police to his home with a burglary call was fatally shot early Thursday, Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said.

Michael Devine, 64, a retired custodian for the Neshaminy School District and the father of Bristol Borough Councilman Tony Devine, was shot once in the chest shortly after calling 911 at 3:36 a.m., Heckler said.

Devine died soon afterwards at St. Mary Medical Center, Heckler said.

Preliminary findings indicated the Middletown Township officer had shot in self defense, Heckler said. County detectives found no evidence of a burglary at the house off West Lincoln Highway where Devine lived alone.

The names of the two responding officers were withheld pending completion of the investigation by the district attorney’s office. But a township source identified them as Patrolman Joseph Schuck, who was first on the scene; Patrolman Joseph Buckley, who shot Devine; and Patrolman Mark Leonhauser, whose father, H. George Leonhauser, is a township supervisor and retired detective.

Heckler and the township source gave this account of the shooting:

Devine reported a burglary, saying he would wait for police outside his house because he feared the burglar was still inside.

Schuck drove up to the house in a marked SUV, and Devine approached the driver’s door wielding a knife. The officer drove ahead, maneuvered the SUV between him and Devine, and drew his weapon.

Buckley and Leonhauser drove up, pulled their guns, and the three officers demanded that Devine put down the knife. Devine ran at Buckley with the knife and was shot once in the chest.

Devine was taken to the hospital, where he died. An autopsy was scheduled for Friday.

A relative told detectives that Devine had been dealing with depression and that a weapon had been taken from him.

Devine was a “quiet guy,” said a neighbor, April Rice, 30, who was born and raised on the quiet street off busy Lincoln Highway. “I knew him to say hello.”

He and his wife separated years ago, she said.

Devine’s son, Tony, is also a a special education teacher at Neshaminy's Maple Point Middle School. He was unavailable for commment.

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