HAZLETON — More than 100 people took to the streets of Hazleton Friday marching, they said, for justice for Jonathan Garay.
Garay was shot and killed by a Hazleton police officer on Alter Street in the city last Saturday.
State police and the district attorney’s office are still investigating, trying to determine whether the officer involved in the shooting acted appropriately.
Jonathan Garay’s family and friends gathered at the home on Alter Street for a rally to honor their loved one.
As crowds of people made their way from Alter Street to Hazleton City Hall, the family and friends of shooting victim Jonathan Garay, 26, made sure their voices were heard, chanting for justice for a deadly shooting that Garay’s family says never should have happened.
“Telling them that we want justice. Justice is not served until these people realize that he was murdered,” said the victim’s sister Veronica Garay.
Investigators say a Hazleton police officer, Michael Colasardo, shot and killed Garay. According to court papers, Colasardo and another officer were called to the house when a large fight broke out. The officers chased Garay after they were told he left the fight with a gun. When they caught him, the gun fell on the back porch of Garay’s home. Court papers indicate that Garay reached for it and attempted to raise it toward officers. That’s when investigators say Colasardo shot and killed Garay.
“The police officers broke all protocols and it’s not justified for what they did and I think unfortunately, people like to cover things up,” said the victim’s uncle Angel Garcia.
Garay’s loved ones say he was shot in the kitchen of the home and that he did nothing wrong. They say they believe the officers were out to get him for a previous incident with the family.
Now they want to make sure the district attorney hears their cries for help. “We’re fighting for our rights right now. We’re Jonathan’s voice right now,” said Christina Green.
The district attorney says she will determine whether the officer acted appropriately when the investigation is finished. Until then the city of Hazleton and Hazleton police can’t comment and the officer involved is on administrative leave.