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I-Team: Nanticoke shooting investigation continues

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NANTICOKE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The investigation continues Friday into the fatal shooting of a Nanticoke man Thursday afternoon.

Thomas Painter, 26, was shot in the abdomen by a bail bondsman as he was serving an arrest warrant on Painter. The man had a long criminal record in Luzerne County now, the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office is investing whether or not the shooting was justified.

Painter allegedly pointed a gun at the bail bondsman who was serving a warrant for failure to appear at court hearing. Painter died a short time later at a hospital.


“Certain evidence is going to be tested we’re also comparing the statements of various witnesses and the reports obviously from the police who collected that evidence and statements from witnesses,” Sam Sanguedolce, First Asst. District Attorney of Luzerne County said.

Investigators say the bail bondsman, who’s name has not yet been released told detectives that was granted permission to come into the home to take painter into custody on outstanding charges, many of them drug related counts.

However, Painter allegedly pointed a gun at him at which time the bondsman said he had no choice but to open fire.

“Obviously going to compare the evidence and statements of the witnesses to determine whether or not the shooting was justified. If the shooting was not justified of course what charges would be appropriate to file,” Sanguedolce said.

Sanguedolce says the bail bondsman had the legal right to be at the home.

“We know he did have the authority to be at the house at the time. We’ve obtained copies of the arrest warrant with the authority for him to be there. Ultimately seeking the defendant on charges, the victim of the shooting,” he said.

Larry Kansky represented Painter in several of those cases.

“Certainly Thomas Painter had problems and I was trying to help him with his drug addiction. All of his charges were drug related and Thomas was his own worst enemy,” Kansky said.

Bail bondsmen basically guarantee that a person will show up for court hearings and will get a percentage of the bail money to ensure that the person shows up to court. A court order allows the bail bondsman to serve an arrest warrant as for the weapon, a bail bondsman, like any other private citizen can carry a weapon.

If it’s a concealed weapon they must have a permit to carry from the sheriff’s department and investigators say he did have a conceal carry permit.

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