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D.A.: Shooting By Police in Hazleton Justified

HAZLETON — A shooting by police earlier this month in Hazleton was justified, according to the Luzerne County district attorney.

The D.A. released her report Wednesday afternoon.

A Hazleton police officer shot Jonathan Garay, 26, at his home on Alter Street on October 5.

“There was a weapon pointed at an officer and the officer responded adequately and appropriately,” said District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis.

Investigators said Garay had four times the legal limit of alcohol in his system when he refused police orders to stop and pointed a loaded weapon at officers.

Garay was shot in the cheek and in the back.

At his home on Alter Street, a memorial has been set up, with a message to the district attorney asking, in part, how she sleeps at night and including the words, “Justice will prevail.”

The Garay family did not want to speak about the report. A spokesman asked reporters to respect the family`s privacy.

“Right now emotions are high, it is always terrible to lose a loved one,” said Salavantis.

The Garay family claimed to have videos proving the police officer pulled the trigger without a good reason, but state police say that is not so.

Last week, family and friends rallied in front of Hazleton City Hall, calling for justice for Jonathan.

The D.A. said there have been threats and rumors of riots since the shooting.

She urged everyone to remain calm and trust the police.

“We all need to stick together as a community, and know that the officers are trying to do their job,” said Salavantis.

She did not include the name of the police officer in her report, citing that threats were made to him.


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