Residents who had been evacuated were offered shelter at the nearby Township Building. They recalled hearing gunshots that initially did not alarm them until they realized they were not from the nearby gun club.
Police identified the barricaded man as Richard Klementovich, 42, thought to be a marksman. He fired from different points from within the house at 25 Bittersweet Dr., police said. The father of two was in the house alone and had been in contact throughout the day with his police supervisor in Clifton, police said.
He was arraigned early Monday on dozens of charges including aggravated assault. Court records don't list an attorney for him.
Neighbors said Klementovich was involved in a bitter divorce and had sent a text to his wife, Jill, on Sunday saying he was going to kill himself. That was before he started firing at police.
"I heard 10 to 20 shots," Richard Enright of Windsor Way said in an interview.
He and his wife, Marie, said that after they heard the first shots around 2 p.m., police knocked on their door and told them to leave.
In the township’s Central Park, about a quarter-mile from the scene, neighbors who had been evacuated waited out the situation, unable to return home.
"We were standing on a hill, and an armored personnel carrier came down and turned on to Radcliff Drive into the fray," said Jim Dibble, 61, who lives a few blocks from the scene.
Dibble said he was out of his house on Windsor Way when police knocked on the door about 2:15 p.m. and ordered his wife to leave. She was waiting out the situation with friends while he waited in the park with a neighbor, Jim Bauer.
Bauer, 61, said he had been in his backyard when he heard gunfire. He went into the house and was evacuated around 4 p.m.
Shortly after 8 p.m., police cautioned that a resolution could take a while.
Negotiators were at the scene, as well as the Central Bucks Special Response Team, a SWAT outfit consisting of officers and negotiators from 21 police departments. Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler and county detectives were also present. A truck arrived carrying spotlights.
In the afternoon, Doylestown Lea residents received reverse-911 calls to land lines and cellphones urging them to get to a safe place, such as a basement, and to lock their doors and stay away from windows.
In urging reporters to stay away from the scene, Dave Mettin, chief of the Pennridge Regional Police, part of the multi-jurisdictional SWAT team, said of Klementovich: "We don’t want to incite this gentleman any more than he is. ... We’re hoping for a successful end with the safety of residents … officers, and Mr. Klementovich."
Police said they did not know where Klementovich lives or why he was at his estranged wife’s home.
Mettin said Doylestown police were called to 25 Bittersweet Dr. at 1:44 p.m. Sunday for a "neighbor dispute." Fourteen minutes later, Klementovich started firing, Mettin said. The shots struck two police cars and an armored personnel carrier, he said.
Ingrid Pregler, 48, who lives four houses from the scene of the shooting, was outside, unloading groceries and watering plants, when she heard gunshots for "probably a half-hour."
"It was sporadic. It was multiple ones at a time. It was many, many rounds," she said while hunkered down in her basement.
She fled inside when a neighbor called to say a gunman was in the neighborhood shooting.
Kelly McCusker, who lives on Bittersweet Drive, was driving to her home about 2 p.m. when she realized something was wrong.
"Police were flying by me," she said. "They were waving me in, telling me to get inside."
Of Klementovich and his wife, she said: "I knew they were having issues, but no more than that — nothing where I’ve seen a police car pull up. Certainly nothing that would prompt this."
McCusker was staying in her house, watching a surreal scene in what is normally a very quiet development – police cruisers, tanks, officers everywhere.
"It’s scary," she said. "It’s crazy."
Clifton police would not confirm they had a Richard Klementovich on the force, but his name appears on several websites identifying him as working there. Court documents show he was one of several police officers from Clifton and surrounding towns who were sued in 2006 for alleged illegal search and seizure in connection with an arrest. The suit appears to have been thrown out on statute-of-limitations grounds.
Contact Darran Simon at 856-779-3829, firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow @darransimon on Twitter. Inquirer staff writer David O’Reilly contributed to this article.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.