“I Never Saw Anything Like This” – Yardley Reacts After Police Chief Shot In Standoff

Lower Makefield Police Chief Ken Colluzi speaks with Yardley Commons residents during Wednesday's standoff. Photo by Rick Rickman.

Yardley Borough is quiet once again as the suspect who started a four hour standoff with police is now in custody.

Colin Petroziello, 24, of Yardley Borough. Photo via Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.

Yardley Commons resident Colin Petroziello, 24, faces multiple charges including attempted murder of a law enforcement officer. A judge denied his bail at a hearing Wednesday evening.

Petroziello has a history of mental illness, according to court documents. He has twice been committed involuntary to mental health facilities. Authorities say he “poses a significant threat to the community.”

Meantime, Police Chief Joseph Kelly is recovering at St. Mary’s Medical Center. Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said Kelly, a husband and father, will return to his family after surgery.

The entire Yardley Borough community is recovering as well. Several residents were waiting down the street at the SEPTA station while authorities attempted to contact Petroziello.

“I never saw anything like this,” said Joe, who has lived at the Yardley Commons for 45 years. “I’m overwhelmed by the number of cops.”

Yardley Commons Standoff
Cailey Steiner (left) and Sunny Howell leave after evacuating from the Yardley Commons. Photo by Rick Rickman.

Joe added his neighbor, still in the apartments, was taking shelter. The neighbor had closed the blinds and shut off the lights.

Shortly after 2:30 p.m., two younger residents walking away from the standoff said they had been evacuated. One, a young man named Sunny, explained his roommate had heard a boom.

“She thought she heard a gunshot and someone saying ‘take cover,'” said Sunny Howell.

Howell’s friend Cailey Steiner slept through the gunshot.

“I got woke up by an active shooting lockdown,” said Steiner. “We were surprised. This doesn’t happen in Yardley. This is the last place I’d expect that and I’ve lived here almost 10 years.”

Yardley Commons Standoff
An officer speaks with Jessica DiMaria. Photo by Rick Rickman.

One woman, Jessica DiMaria, rushed home from work to speak with an officer helping to detour traffic at South Main Street. She said her teenage daughter was still inside the apartments.

”This is such a quiet neighborhood,” DiMaria told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “Nothing ever happens here.”

Another woman had gone out for a walk just before the shot rang out. She lamented leaving her phone, wallet, and cash back in their apartment.

Yardley Mayor Chris Harding visited Kelly at the hospital. He told WBCB Yardley police officers are always ready.

“With every new officer we hire, I have the same conversation with them,” said Harding. “Just because we hired you in sleepy Yardley, it doesn’t mean things like this can’t happen.”

Yardley Police Chief Joseph Kelly. Photo via Mayor Chris Harding.

Harding says Kelly’s instincts and mindset to prepare for the worst may have saved his life.

“So although I am pleased that the community doesn’t expect this to happen – and I think that’s a vote of confidence to our police department that does everything to keep a peaceful community available to us to enjoy as residents – they are well aware as police professionals that danger can come from any place at any time.”

The Yardley Mayor is asking the community to keep Kelly in their prayers and to thank the law enforcement and first responders who helped bring Wednesday’s standoff to an end.

Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said Chief Kelly is “in good spirits.”

“I remember getting the call this morning, and the chills immediately ran up my spine,” said Weintraub later Wednesday afternoon. “The luckiest person today is Chief Joseph Kelly, next are his family and then it’s a tie: It’s all of us that the police selflessly serve and protect without regard for their own public safety, every damn day.”