Community reacts to fatal three hour standoff in Hazleton


HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) A police chase turned into a fatal three hour standoff in Hazleton Monday night.

Eyewitness News spoke with those who witnessed the whole thing go down.

During the standoff, those living in homes close to the scene were evacuated, while the rest of the neighborhood was ordered to shelter-in-place. They tell Eyewitness News it was a night they’ll never forget. 

Steven Jon was home when he saw a white tractor trailer truck barreling down his street, followed by police cars.

“It was something that you see out of a movie scene,” said Jon.

The man driving that truck was Wade Meisberger, who was wanted by U.S. Marshals for a homicide parole violation. 

U.S. Marshals stopped the truck they believed was transporting Meisberger and ordered everyone inside to get out.

The driver exited the truck, but Meisberger refused to get out and fled the scene. Even after his truck became stuck behind a hockey rink, Meisberger refused to turn himself in peacefully, and he continued to shoot at officers who surrounded him.

A man living next to the scene didn’t want to go on camera, but tells Eyewitness News he could hear the negotiations from inside his house.

“They were fair with him. They were trying to talk him down the entire time. They gave him plenty of time, they gave him a ton of warnings, they were evening trying to talk him out of the truck. They told him hey if you can come out of the truck, put your arms up, walk to the back of the truck lay down. You’ll be fine. We won’t hurt you, we’ll go and get you the help that you need,” said the man.

Jon says he could hear the gunshots and was terrified. He says this sort of incident is unusual.

“Nothing like that. I mean the most you ever seen is cops pulling someone over or something minor. But stuff like that is usually seen in L.A. or somewhere,” said Jon.

A man who works near by, who also didn’t want to go on camera, says it’s disturbing for such an incident to happen in the neighborhood. 

“It’s… people here are nice people. And to bring all this attention out here. It’s a shame,” said the man.

Jon thanks the police for protecting their community yesterday evening. 

“They did an amazing job. Congrats and hats down to the Hazleton Police Department assisting with the state troopers,” said Jon.

Police say they are still investigating the standoff.

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