BETHLEHEM TOWNSHIP - Officers honored for standoff response
On Dec. 22, shortly before students were being released from school, Justin Kephart, age 35, emptied 11 bullets into his mother, Marylouise Meixell-Moyer, as she left a family home on Dennis Street. Officer John Meehan was the first police officer on the scene, along with neighbor Douglas Wallace. They were forced to duck behind a car as they both began taking fire.
One of the bullets fired at Meehan whizzed between his hand and head.
Sgt. Daryl LaPointe, who was supervising officer, quickly arrived on location and made decisions to secure a perimeter and warn students about to be released from school. Five Bethlehem Township police officers responded to this standoff with a shooter who fired at least 115 rounds at them after he had already killed his mother.
They were honored Jan. 2 by Bethlehem Township Commissioners.
After a nine-hour standoff, state troopers determined that Kephart was dead. Coronoer Zach Lysek ruled the death a suicide caused by a single gunshot wound to the head. Sgt. LaPointe and Chief Dan Pancoast, in a news conference last week, credited the numerous police departments that provided assistance and helped with traffic management.
They also credited Nancy Run and Bethlehem Township Volunteer Fire departments for their assistance. Officers responded from Hellertown, Bethlehem, Freemansburg and Colonial Regional, as well as Pennsylvania State Police. Bethlehem police provided an armored bearcat that rescued Meehan and Wallace.