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Three Officers Shot; Gunman Holed Up in House

April 20, 1995

HADDON HEIGHTS, N.J. (AP) _ A gunman opened fire Thursday on two police officers and a prosecutor’s investigator as they tried to force their way into his home to arrest him. At least one of the officers was killed, authorities said.

Witnesses said hundreds of shots were fired during the gun battle. Dozens of police officers from 27 departments along with sheriff’s officers and state police surrounded the house.

Audubon police Cpl. Ralph Trovato said the officers and the investigator were shot to death. But assistant prosecutor Joseph Audino of Camden County said one officer was killed, the other officer hospitalized, and the investigator was still in the house, his condition unknown.

The accounts could not immediately be reconciled.

The Haddon Heights police officers are brothers.

Authorities were talking by phone to the gunman, identified by police as Glenn Nelson, who lives in the house in this Philadelphia suburb. Nelson has undergone sex-change surgery and also goes by the name Leslie, Trovato said.

Two officers had gone to the house earlier Thursday to investigate a report that a 3-year-old child who lived there had been sexually abused, Audino said.

While the officers spoke to the child’s mother, they noticed at least one semi-automatic handgun and a shotgun in the house. Audino did not know the child’s gender or relationship to Nelson.

The officers later determined that Nelson had a prior arrest record for illegal weapons possession, officials said. A warrant was issued and the two officers and the investigator went to the house early Thursday afternoon.

Albert Boyne was walking through the middle-class neighborhood of single-family homes with well-kept lawns when the gun battle erupted.

``It sounded like a war was starting. It was unbelievable,″ Boyne said.

``I heard at least 100 shots. I counted them,″ said resident Elaine Garrity.

Update hourly