Huffpost Crime
David Lohr Headshot

Thomas Borden, Murder Suspect, Dove In Front Of Train, Police Say

Posted: Updated:
Abington Police Department
Abington Police Department

Police say the prime suspect in the shooting death of a New York man killed himself by jumping in front of a train in southeast Pennsylvania.

"It's your worst nightmare, really," Deputy Chief John Livingood, of the Abington Township Police Department, said of the incident.

According to Livingood, Thomas Borden, 33, whose last known address was in Warminster, Pa., had fled New York and driven south. He had been wanted for questioning in the murder of Daniel Bennett.

Bennett, 31, was shot to death on the night of April 20, in the bedroom of his Dix, N.Y. home. Bennett's father, who also lives at the home, was awakened by the sound of gunfire. When he went to investigate, he found his son's body.

Neighbors of Bennett told local reporters that he had been dating Borden's ex-wife. Police have yet to comment on a possible motive or how many times Bennett was shot.

On Monday morning, police agencies in Montgomery County, Pa., were advised to be on the lookout for Borden. He had been spotted driving a blue and tan Ford pickup southbound on Route 309.

It was not long before an officer in suburban Philadelphia spotted the suspect traveling at a high speed.

"Traffic conditions were such that the officer really couldn't catch up with the vehicle and the suspect really couldn't get away," Livingood said.

Trapped in traffic, Borden turned into the Jenkintown Elementary School. He abandoned his vehicle in the parking lot and attempted to flee on foot. Borden was quickly stopped by officers with the Cheltenham and Abington Police Departments.

"They stopped him [and] he talked to them briefly. [When] they asked him for identification, he provided a false name. He [then] pushed away from the car on which they were searching him [and] took off running," Livingood said.

Borden ran through a densely wooded area and made his way down a steep embankment to the tracks of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority commuter rail line. Attempts to Taser Borden by pursuing officers were unsuccessful and during the pursuit a West Trenton outbound train began approaching the men.

According to Livingood, "The suspect observed [the train], they were all clear of it and at the last second, he purposely dove in front of the train."

The force of the impact threw Borden back and he landed along the tracks. Officers rendered first aide to Borden until paramedics arrived on scene. The suspect was alive following his collision with the train but was later pronounced dead at Abington Memorial Hospital.

According to Philadelphia's NBC 10, Borden had a lengthy criminal record, including arrests for public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, harassment, forgery, theft, simple assault and criminal mischief. At the time of his death, Borden was wanted for a probation violation.

Julie Cherubini, Borden's ex-girlfriend and the mother of his 6-year-old daughter, said she was shocked by his behavior.

"I don't know what's been going through his head but the Tom I knew when he lived here would never hurt someone like that," Cherubini told NBC 10. "I feel heartily sorry for his family, the guy who was killed and for my daughter, you know, she lost a father today."

Around the Web

Train Jumper, Murder Suspect Had Criminal History

NY fugitive killed by train after Pa. police chase

Murder suspect jumps in front of train

Train Jumper Wanted for Murder of Ex-Wife's Boyfriend

Regional Roundup: Man Dies After Jumping in Front of Train

Regional Roundup: Warminster Man Dies After Jumping in Front of Train

Suspect in Town of Dix killing jumps in front of train