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Trooper Shoots, Kills Masked Shoplifting Suspect

A Pennsylvania state trooper shot and killed a theft suspect who allegedly fired at him first outside a Lehigh Valley Walmart late Wednesday, with the entire incident captured on store surveillance video. The trooper killed the suspect while returning fire in the parking lot of the store along Mill Creek Road in Lower Macungie Township after responding to a report of a masked man, state police said. A witness said he saw a law enforcement associate chasing the man outside the store when he heard the officer yelling for the man to stop. He then heard a series of shots. A Glock handgun allegedly belonging to the suspect was recovered in his lap. The store, open 24 hours a day, was evacuated as police began their investigation. The suspect was wearing a life-like mask and wig inside the store, going through aisles for about 15 minutes, filling up his cart, police said. A loss prevention associate noticed the man and called police. The suspect’s description matched that of a theft in early March at a Schuylkill County Walmart. A trooper arrived on the scene and was looking for the loss prevention associate when the suspect left his cart and fled the store. “Just as he’s exiting the store the trooper tells him to stop and the subject takes off running, he’s running across the parking lot,” State Police Capt. Rich D’Ambrosio said.

As he was running, the suspect pulled out a handgun. “When he gets to his car, the subject turns around and he fires one shot toward the trooper,” D’Ambrosio said. The trooper, a four-year veteran, returned fire as the man got into his car, striking him multiple times, D’Ambrosio said. The subject was dead at the scene. Per normal policy, the trooper was placed on administrative duty while the investigation takes place. Walmart said they are working with police and had no further comment. State Police from Bucks County and the Lehigh Valley District Attorney’s Office are investigating the incident. Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin said that his office still needs to make an official determination but that preliminarily it appears the shooting was justified. [Source: NBC10 News]

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