Friday, March 8, 2019

Officer Involved Shooting in Pottsville Justified

A police involved shooting that occurred early Friday morning in Pottsville has been ruled justified by Schuylkill County District Attorney Mike O'Pake.

O'Pake said, after reviewing body camera footage, the two officers that fired their weapons at Jose Cruz, 32, of Allentown, and injured him during the incident were justified.

“This shooting was a justified shooting, a justified use of force.  It is clear from that video that the officers were performing their duty and performing it well. This incident was thrust upon them, forced upon them but it’s a classic textbook use of force by these police officers.”  O'Pake said.
According to Pottsville Police Chief Richard Wojiechowsky, around 1:00am, Friday morning,  Pottsville Police officers and Pennsylvania State Police troopers responded to a report of an armed subject in the 500 block of Mahantongo Street who had reportedly fired a weapon.

Upon arrival police encountered the male, later identified as Cruz, on the porch of the residence and he ignored repeated lawful verbal commands from police as he began to leave the scene and he then displayed a handgun.

Wojciechowsky said as officers continued to give verbal commands to Cruz a Pottsville Police officer and a PA State Trooper deployed Tasers on Cruz and he then pointed his handgun at the officers at which time two Pottsville Police Officers discharged their weapons to protect themselves and the PA State Troopers.

Cruz was then taken into custody and taken to a local hospital and later flown to a Lehigh Valley Trauma Center listed in satisfactory condition.

No police officers were injured and Cruz was transported to a medical facility for treatment.

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