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Two Men In Custody After Two Separate Shootings In Hazleton

Posted on: 10:21 pm, February 25, 2013, by , updated on: 11:25pm, February 25, 2013

HAZLETON– Monday night, Hazleton Police announced the arrest of two men in connection to two separate shootings in the city.

Those arrests were made after a chaotic day involving an afternoon shoot-out, and a weekend homicide.

Hazleton police said they have a man in custody in connection with Saturday’s deadly shooting in the city, that left another man injured.

Officers call 21-year old Adami Arias a person of interest in the killing of Angel Villalobos along West Maple Street and arrested him Monday evening.

They hold Arias on a parole violation and warrant, but have not charged him with homicide.

“No arrests have currently been made pertaining to this homicide,” said Chief Frank DeAndrea.

As they investigated the homicide, police had to respond to a chaotic scene Monday afternoon.

Officers arrested 25-year old Joseph Babbitt after a shooting and foot chase in the city.

Police said Babbitt was in this red car when he got into a Dodge Durango driven by another man.

Investigators said Babbitt shot that man in the leg then ran from the Durango as the driver of that SUV chased him.

Officers said Babbitt jumped back into his car and the Durango slammed into it.

“We received reports of shots fired and vehicles ramming each other,” said Chief DeAndrea.

Police said the Durango took off.

They arrested Babbitt and found a .25 caliber gun under Babbitt`s car with the serial number scratched off.

Hazleton`s police chief said Babbitt is a felon and faces numerous charges.

“He`ll be formally charged with aggravated assault and various, he`s a felon in possession of a weapon,” said DeAndrea.

Authorities tracked down the driver of the Durango in Northumberland County by Coal Township Police.

He was brought to Hazleton in cuffs however police said he is considered to be a victim, and are not releasing his name for his safety.

“They`re eyewitnesses to a crime and I will end up needed their testimony to take the criminals who did the shooting to court,” said DeAndrea.

Once again Hazleton police believe those shootings to be two separate incidents.

Both men are at the Luzerne County Courthouse.

The police chief said detectives Luzerne County Task Force, along with agents from the FBI, DEA and U.S. Marshall’s Office were in the city Monday, assisting with homicide investigation.

He credits the additional law enforcement with making the quick arrests of Joseph Babbit, as well as bringing Adami Arias into custody.

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