Possible Theft, Police Chase Leads to Man Shot

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MAHANOY CITY -- State Police in Schuylkill County say a possible theft at a Walmart escalated into a chase and ended with a man being shot and wounded by law enforcement.

The chase covered a stretch of road from Saint Clair to just outside Mahanoy City.

It was along White Owl Drive just outside Mahanoy City where investigators say a police chase ended.

Dozens of troopers joined up with local police officers as a crime scene unit collected evidence.

During that time, part of Route 54 known as Vulcan Hill Road was shut down.

“As soon as we dropped the kids off, I was trying to get home, couldn't get up the Vulcan,” said Dawn May who lives in Barnesville.  “I came the back way and couldn't get up the Vulcan either so they just had us sit here and wait.”

State police say the chase began after a Saint Clair police officer received a tip call about a possible theft happening at this Walmart.

Once there, a construction crew told the officer there was an SUV driving erratically out of the parking lot and onto Route 61 headed towards Interstate 81.

People shopping at the Walmart say crime is getting worse in this area.

“It's nuts, it's crazy. Society is going crazy, there's no control, there's no morals, there's no values anymore. It's a shame,” said Christina Ashley of Pottsville.

“No respect, no nothing and I have grandkids. It's scary,” said Peggy Deonton of Pottsville.

A state trooper followed the SUV off Interstate 81 and onto Route 54. A second trooper threw down a spike strip that punctured the SUV's tires.

Investigator says the driver, a white male in his 60's, stopped the SUV briefly then backed into two police vehicles and took off again, eventually ending up in a ditch.

State police say the man still tried to flee again in the SUV and was shot by one of the officers.

“They contained it. I think they did what they had to do,” said May.

State police would not say who shot the suspect or where the suspect was hit.

Police say the man was flown to Geisinger Medical Center near Danville and is listed in critical condition.

State police have not released his name but say he will face numerous charges including aggravated assault.