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Pottsville News

DEVELOPING: DA Says Pottsville Police Shooting “Justified”

Pottsville Police say two of its officers were involved in a shooting in the 500 block of Mahantongo Street overnight.

According to several TV reports, 32-year-old Jose Cruz is at Lehigh Valley this afternoon. He’s the man shot by police officers around 1 a.m. Friday in this historic area of Pottsville.

Though historic, this particular block of Mahantongo Street has been on a downward slide for the last 20 years or more. This is in the face of millions of dollars of investment by one particular company.

The location of the shooting is right up the street from Yuengling Brewery.

This morning, Mahantongo Street, from 3rd to 7th is blocked and considered a crime scene. People are asked to avoid that area.

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Pottsville Police Shooting

Here’s what we know so far …

Reports of shots fired around 1 a.m. Friday in Pottsville prompt an investigation from police. Officers from Pottsville Police and Pennsylvania State Police responded.

When officers arrive, they encounter Cruz, who is holding a handgun. After a PSP trooper hit Cruz with a taser shot, Cruz flashed his gun toward two officers.

Pottsville Police disable the gunman. Reportedly, the two officers each shot at Cruz.

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Cruz is at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown. There is no word on his condition but he is alive.

State Police are holding a press conference on this incident Friday morning.

10:45 a.m. UPDATE: WBRE-TV is reporting Schuylkill County District Attorney Mike O’Pake already reviewed 3 body cams that recorded the incident. He’s determined Pottsville Police were justified in Cruz’ shooting.

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12:30 p.m. UPDATE: WNEP-TV reports: Pottsville Police Chief Richard Wojciechowsky says of the two officers who shot at Cruz: “They acted courageously and it justs shows the dangers law enforcement faces every day.”

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