Hazleton Shootout sends one to hospital

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HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) Witnesses describe it as a shootout with as many as 20 people involved. When the gun fire ended, one man was wounded.

      It all happened early this morning in Hazleton.

Our lead I-team reporter Andy Mehalshick was on scene shortly after the drama unfolded and has the details.

Witnesses told me they have never seen anything quite like this before, investigators are still piecing together what led to that gunfire but they say it is connected to drug dealing.

“They are criminals they got no regard for nothing. No regard for human life,” said Craig Budde of Hazleton.

Craig Budde was taking his morning walk just after 5 Wednesday morning when he saw police converging on this home on North Wyoming Street.

 “I was walking through the Masonic Lodge parking lot when I saw a black Mercedes with its lights on and the passenger door open. I went back to talk with a state trooper about it and he said okay we will have it checked out.”

One man was shot, he was hit twice. He was flown to the trauma center in the Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown. A dog that was in the house was also wounded and the shooting took place inside and outside of the house.

“We’re in the process of just interviewing people trying to figure things out. We’ll get the search warrant for the searching of the interior property,” said Sgt. David Rodick, Hazleton Police.

Some residents say that innocent bystanders could have been hurt or killed if the shooting took place just a few hours later, since the home is located near a business district.

“We need to get together as a group as a community and start fighting these criminals to get them out of here and put them where they belong in jail,” Vilmarie Budde of Hazleton.

 

We’re told that police do have suspects in the shooting and that arrests are expected very soon. Sources close to the case also tell me that the home was being watched for months by police in connection with alleged drug trafficking.

The name of the male victim has not yet been released but we are told he will survive his injuries.

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