Thursday, December 25, 2014

District Attorney's probe of Warminster shootout continues

Andrew Graham Cairns, 49 (inset), was charged with aggravated assault after a standoff and shootout with police Feb. 19 - 20 at the Jefferson on the Creek apartment complex in Warminster that left a 90-year-old neighbor dead.  (Emily Babay / Staff)
Andrew Graham Cairns, 49 (inset), was charged with aggravated assault after a standoff and shootout with police Feb. 19 - 20 at the Jefferson on the Creek apartment complex in Warminster that left a 90-year-old neighbor dead. (Emily Babay / Staff)
Story Highlights
  • Marie Zienkewicz, 89, was found dead after an hours-long standoff between Andrew G. Cairns and Warminster police.
  • Zienkewicz lived in the apartment below Cairns.
  • A gun battle ensued when officers arrived and Cairns surrendered at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.
Andrew Graham Cairns, 49 (inset), was charged with aggravated assault after a standoff and shootout with police Feb. 19 - 20 at the Jefferson on the Creek apartment complex in Warminster that left a 90-year-old neighbor dead.  (Emily Babay / Staff) Gallery: District Attorney's probe of Warminster shootout continues

The Bucks County District Attorney's Office is continuing to review evidence to determine the gun that fired the stray bullet that killed an elderly woman during a Warminster shootout between police and her neighbor.

Marie Zienkewicz, 89, was found dead after an hours-long standoff between Andrew G. Cairns and Warminster police that stretched from Tuesday evening to 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

She lived in the apartment below Cairns, who authorities say exchanged fire with officers after they responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at his residence.

Cairns faces charges of attempted murder, assaulting a law enforcement officer and other offenses.

The gun battle at the Jefferson on the Creek apartment complex wasn't the first time Cairns has been charged with a violent crime.

In May 2007, he was accused of assaulting a man who was selling magazines near his then-residence on the 3200 block of Brighton Street in the Mayfair section of Philadelphia.

Cairns asked the magazine seller if the the man had voted, then told him, "If you were black I would kick your ass" off the street, according to the criminal complaint.

Cairns then punched the man in his nose and face, the complaint says.

He was charged with making terroristic threats, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person, but the charges were dropped for lack of prosecution in September 2007.

The District Attorney's Office has not disclosed whether Cairns or police fired the bullet that killed Zienkewicz.

Investigators "have to make sure we have that nailed down" before releasing further details, prosecutor Matthew Weintraub said. He said the office hopes to conclude that investigation within a week.

The standoff began after police recieved a report of a domestic disturbance at about 4 p.m. Tuesday. Around 7:40 p.m., Cairns' girlfriend called police and said he had fired two shots in an attempt to kill himself, authorities said.

A gun battle enused when officers arrived, and Cairns surrendered at about 2:30 a.m. Wednesday.

About 60 residents of apartment complex were evacuated; others were ordered to stay in their homes.

Cairns is being held on $10 million bail.


Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or ebabay@philly.com. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.

Emily Babay Breaking News Desk
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