Cops: Hatchet attack was 'something out of Friday the 13th'

An Upper Darby man who called 911 this morning and threatened to kill himself and his family, busted through a closet he was hiding in with a hatchet and swung the weapon "wildly" at responding police officers, one of whom shot him in return, according to Upper Darby Superintendent Michael Chitwood.

"The cops described it as something out of Friday the 13th," Chitwood said.

Joshua Burno (2)
Joshua Bruno

The man, identified as 19-year-old Joshua Bruno, remains in critical condition at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania but is expected to survive the gunshot wound, Chitwood said. One officer suffered minor injuries in the incident.

Chitwood said he believes Bruno was attempting "suicide by cop" and that the man suffers mental health issues. In 2008, when Bruno was just 15, he was found to have a hit list with the names of 13 of his classmates on it, Chitwood said. He was never charged with a crime but did receive a psychiatric evaluation, according to police.

In today's incident, at 1:20 a.m., Bruno called 911 from his cell phone and told the operator "I'm going to kill my family and kill myself," Chitwood said.

Responding officers found the front door to the house on Greenhill Road open and were met outside by Bruno's mother, who had no idea that her son had called police.

She remained outside while three officers went inside the house. Once inside, they saw what they thought was a mirror to their right, but it was actually a mirrored closet and once they walked past it, Bruno "bull rushed" through the doors of the closet, Chitwood said.

"He comes out of the closet weilding a hatchet and swinging that hatchet wildly," he said.

Ofc. Brian Siegman was able to fire off two shots, hitting Bruno in the upper left torso. Bruno remains under police guard at HUP and is expected to be charged with three counts of attempted murder and related offenses upon his release.

Throughout the incident, Bruno's 16-year-old brother, who had no idea what was going on, hid in an upstairs closet.

Chitwood said Bruno's family believed he was trying to commit suicide by cop, noting that he attempted to commit suicide by overdosing on prescription pills last year.

Aside from the hatchet, Bruno also had a butcher knife in the closet with him and a box cutter with a three-inch blade in his underwear, Chitwood said.