Justice Rally After Deadly Shooting

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.

26 comments

  • annonymous from outskirts of Hazleton

    Ok lets not shoot to kill? Lets just shoot to injure? Well go over seas and tell that to the armed forces and they will laugh at you, when you are shot your adranaline flows and you may still be able to shoot back. Officers. In the split seconds they have to make that decision are not thinking o if I shoot him he will drop his weapon. No cause if the shoot him he can still shoot them back and possibly kill them. So what then what would have happened if the officers got shot would we still be saying they were in the wrong and shpuldnt have been there. Probably because you are grieving and trying to blame someone other then the person who should have thought better then to reach for and or point a gun at an officer. He may have been a food kid before but even good kids make poor decisions and this one cost him.

  • A concerned citizen

    I cannot believe that you exposed the name of the officer who shot Garay. You just delivered a death sentence to that officer by the gangs that live here in Hazleton. You have lost many, many viewers from Hazleton. The really sad part of this is that I don’t even think that you CARE of the trouble that you may have caused. The police officer shot in SELF-DEFENSE!!!

  • Djl

    Shame on Wnep for releasing the name of the officer involved! As a Leo officer,our jobs are hard enough. This incident has caused threats against us. Releasing information such as this while there is an ongoing investigation puts this officer in even more danger! Clearly you’re station does not have someones best interest at heart. Thank you for putting him and us in more danger.

  • Bill Pollard

    There should absolutely be an investigation as to what happened and EVERYONE needs to accept the outcome of that investigation. Shame on you WNEP and all of the other news media who post the names of law enforcement who fatally shoot a suspected criminal at a CRIME SCENE. If the investigation reveals that there was wrong doing on the part of law enforcement, then publish the names just as you would with any criminal suspect. Another thought. I recently did some business with a small business on Alter Street that is losing business because of their location. They have been there for 30 years and have had to change what they do because of the crime in that location. Blacks, Whites, Hispanics who live in that area, YOU need step up and clean up and police YOUR neighborhood. It’s a mess and you are driving away good people.

    • Joe Johnson

      I totally agree…there has been numerous threats against the officers and their families!! Same in the media and shame on the people that paint this boy as a saint. He had known Latin King ties as well as his family…and if do innocent why all the threats?

      • MrsR

        I attended this rally and as I understand it, the family does not have ties to any gang. I believe that is a stereotype because the victim is Latino himself. I do agree with you that it wasn’t the best idea to release the name of the officer involved due to the safety of him and his family however because of the history between the family and this particular officer, the family already knew his name from day 1. Retaliation is not the motive for the family speaking up against police claims… Justice is. They just want to clear Jonathan’s name and have charges brought against the officer who wrongfully killed their one.

    • Joe Johnson

      Agreed…You want to talk racism? How can’t the people in Hazleton look at one group of people with disgust? We didn’t have these problems 10 years ago before the “newcomers” came to town. I don’t know if you read the paper and see all the violent crime in it…ever notice 90% of it is not committed by someone who grew up here? Ever notice all the violent crime has and is being committed by Spanish people? It’s fact…I would shoot first also..how many shootings and beating have been commited by locals in the last 10 years…none that’s right. Do you blame the locals? How can you? When a white man was beat his family knew how to act…not walk the streets in protest wasting more tax dollars to pay police all this over time. The gangs in the area are not white gangs…you have no argument. The police acted justly…did these officers ever have to use there weapons before? No! I’m sure they just singled out this poor boy and I’m sure they opened fire in his mothers arms…Did Disney give you this story? It is about race…the race committing all the violent crime…

  • Jackie

    From what I read and saw on TV, the family of Garay changed their story a few times already. I do feel bad for the family because of his death but there are two sides of the story. We’ll see what happens. I wonder what would happen if the emergency units, firefighters and police had a protest also for being judged before the final investigation was over. I wonder?????

  • wakeup

    So this wasn’t the first time cops were called to the house? And a man had a gun, and that man attempted to point that firearm at a cop. Do you have any idea how fast he could have pulled that trigger once the gun was in his hand, if you were that police office you know damn well you aren’t waiting to see when he does. How about putting your hands above your head and freezing? No, he chose to run. There is no case for justice. Move on with your lives people.

  • John Davis

    If this were a white guy non of this would be going on. You people are just looking for an excuse to cause more problems. Next the looting will begin. Get a life you bunch of idiots. I am sure he was a model citizen,that is wht he ran from the cops and had a gun. He got what he deserved.

  • mam61232

    The guy pulled a gun on the officers what do you expect the police to do. If he was such a great guy why did he have a concealed gun in his waste band. The officers acted in self defense what did you want them to due? For the people that protested: Please get a life or a worthwhile cause to protest against. I am all for supporting causes like Trayvon Martin but this is not the same cause anyone black, white, blue, green or yellow that pulls a gun on a cop is going to get shot no matter what city or town you are in.

      • Joe Johnson

        Your an idiot…racists…half are of different races you fool! We did not have these problems 10 years ago….explain that..
        You want to talk racism? How can’t the people in Hazleton look at one group of people with disgust? We didn’t have these problems 10 years ago before the “newcomers” came to town. I don’t know if you read the paper and see all the violent crime in it…ever notice 90% of it is not committed by someone who grew up here? Ever notice all the violent crime has and is being committed by Spanish people? It’s fact…I would shoot first also..how many shootings and beating have been commited by locals in the last 10 years…none that’s right. Do you blame the locals? How can you? When a white man was beat his family knew how to act…not walk the streets in protest wasting more tax dollars to pay police all this over time. The gangs in the area are not white gangs…you have no argument. The police acted justly…did these officers ever have to use there weapons before? No! I’m sure they just singled out this poor boy and I’m sure they opened fire in his mothers arms…Did Disney give you this story? It is about race…the race committing all the violent crime…

    • Mike

      Listen to the stupid comments. If you guy knew there was no body on the porch you morons, the body was in the kitchen so why say they shot him on the porch…there is survelliance and truth will come out

      • Joe Johnson

        The truth will come out and the family changed their story a million times..idiots…gang bangers..what deli is open at 3:00 AM that this kid needs to carry a gun….he was a thug…the one officer who was shot was severely beaten by a bunch of these animals…but he did not draw his weapon then….well he should have and shot them all..animals..learn to act…..You want to talk racism? How can’t the people in Hazleton look at one group of people with disgust? We didn’t have these problems 10 years ago before the “newcomers” came to town. I don’t know if you read the paper and see all the violent crime in it…ever notice 90% of it is not committed by someone who grew up here? Ever notice all the violent crime has and is being committed by Spanish people? It’s fact…I would shoot first also..how many shootings and beating have been commited by locals in the last 10 years…none that’s right. Do you blame the locals? How can you? When a white man was beat his family knew how to act…not walk the streets in protest wasting more tax dollars to pay police all this over time. The gangs in the area are not white gangs…you have no argument. The police acted justly…did these officers ever have to use there weapons before? No! I’m sure they just singled out this poor boy and I’m sure they opened fire in his mothers arms…Did Disney give you this story? It is about race…the race committing all the violent crime…

  • chris

    WOW I guess the officer should have waited till at least he was shot at? Then we would have all those same people saying they are tired of the violence and the police do nothing….next well have a rally for Charlie Manson

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