Police chief vows to stop violence in Hazleton

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HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Two nights, three homes hit by gunfire.

That’s the tally in Hazleton as of Friday night as police vow to stop the violence. No one was injured in those shootings but the police chief says it was a close call for the people inside two of the homes that were hit by bullets. He vows to stop the violence.

“My baby, my son, my wife, were sleeping. Heard a car. Boom, boom. The police came and checked the video camera,” resident Carlos Lovelace said.

Lovelace could not believe what he was seeing when he came out of his home on South Pine Street. Bullet holes in his front window and door. Another neighbor who did not want to appear on camera, fearing for her safety, was stunned by all of this.

“The neighborhood is pretty good. There is always some action up the streets, but it’s pretty good here,” the neighbor said.

Hazleton detectives returned to the home on North Laurel Street Friday afternoon looking for evidence. It too was hit by gunfire overnight. Nobody was injured. All of this comes one day after an unoccupied home on West 11th Street near North Laurel was hit by bullets.

“These are targeted group violence shootings,” chief Jerry Speziale said.

Speziale says these two groups, or what he describes as wanna-be gangs, are targeting each other.

“So what does it mean to the public? It means that they are targeting each other. It’s groups that are against each other over a beef. What that may be I don’t know. Whether it’s over drugs, whether it’s over another issue,” said Speziale.

But he vows to arrest those responsible.

“We are kicking it up. I will have commanders. I will have undercovers. We will be working diligently to put an end to this,” Speziale said.

Speziale said they have what he described as persons of interest in these shootings and are right now searching for them. If you have any information about these shootings in Hazleton, call Hazleton Police or 911. You do not have to give your name.

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