Off-Duty Officer Involved in Deadly Carbondale Shooting

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CARBONDALE -- State police and the district attorney's office are investigating a deadly shooting Tuesday night that involved an off-duty Carbondale police officer.

Family members say the man killed was Joseph Molinaro, 34, of Carbondale. They say he and his girlfriend were taking a shortcut home on Chestnut Avenue when he was shot twice.

According to sources with the city, the shooter is Carbondale police officer Frank Schulze.

The shooting happened around 9 p.m. Tuesday on Chestnut Avenue off of Belmont Street in Carbondale.

A neighbor tells us that the state police and FBI were on the scene throughout the night.

"It was the most horrific thing you ever seen. It was really, such a horrible, horrible thing to see."

Joanne Jordan says it was something she never thought she would see right outside her front door on Chestnut Avenue in Carbondale.

"There's this man standing here. He had a yellow jacket on and he's standing right here between the house and my car and he has the gun like this. He's yelling with the gun," Jordan recalled. "There's a girl and he's screaming at her, cursing at her, swearing at her, and she's going, 'Why did you shoot him? Why did you shoot him? I loved him! I loved him!'"

Jordan says she heard three shots and when she ran outside, she saw the shooter and the woman fighting and another man lying in the street.

Carbondale city officials say the shooter was an off-duty cop, Frank Shultz, a part-time officer since 2014 who is now on administrative leave.

The other man, Joseph Molinaro, 34, of Carbondale was killed. Family members say he suffered two wounds; one in the chest and one in the leg. Molinaro leaves behind three children and a large family that's left reeling.

"He was a very loving man, very loving father, that was Joe's role with us to keep us laughing, keep us smiling, and always had something quick to say," said Molinaro's stepbrother Troy Smith.

Smith said he and his family spent many hours following the shooting trying to piece together where Molinaro had been and what could have led a police officer to shoot him. They say they have not been contacted by investigators.

"It's not that hard to extend a hand and let us know, let us know that you're on top of it, that you're going to do what needs to be done so that this wrong is righted, however you can do that. My biggest emotion right now, I would have to say, would be disappointment."

Tylor Getz of Carbondale knows the victim's family and heard the news from Molinaro's nephew.

“He's like, 'Yeah, it was my uncle,' and I was like, 'Oh man.' I've know them since I was 8 years old. It's really sad,” said Getz.

State police and the Lackawanna County District Attorney's Office are heading up the investigation. They told us late Wednesday afternoon that they have found surveillance video that has helped them in their story and they have interviewed the police officer about the incident and he is cooperating.

But people here say having one of their officers involved in a deadly shooting doesn't look good for Carbondale's police department.

“It's his job to protect us, you understand what I'm saying to you?” said Ibn Miller.

“People are going to feel unsafe now, you know, guarantee a lot of people are going to go get their permits to carry to protect themselves,” said Getz.

No charges have been filed against Schulze at this time.

The investigation being handled by state police and the district attorney's office continues.

Molinaro's family had previously told us that Joseph was shot three times in the back. Investigators say that's not true. He was shot in the chest and the leg.

Their investigation of the shooting and what may have led to it is ongoing.

54 comments

  • Born & Raised

    Hey WNEP, Why don’t you a story on the real problem in Carbondale, the corrupt police department, mayor’s office and the magistrate. And check out Michelle Bannon while your at it…

  • so sad

    Well with a new story out I guess you guys are fallowing along. So the officer goes out of his way to fallow joe to another street..walking up on him with a gun drawn while he was walking away from him.. Joe was unarmed.
    Family isnt looking for anything but justice.

    Yes there was 3 shots fired all by the officer.. every shot from officer.. the video was taken down because state police adviced a friend to please remove it.
    Officer murdered joe end of story..
    When the whole thing unfold you will see..
    You are horrible people what if that was you friend or your relative and they were walking away from a officer and gunned down..Joe was walking away no need to fallow with a gun pointed at his back. how was he a treat walking away and on a different street from officers home..

    Come on..please now..

    #JUSTICEforJOE

  • K

    Personally, when I watch the news I believe every thing that they say. But WNEP broadcasted that he was shot in the back. Hundreds (maybe thousands) of people tuned in the head WNEP spew a lie. Once the crime was investigated we found out that he was shot in the chest and leg. I don’t think that only the police are corrupt. I think the news stations are too. WNEP will tell you that the sky is green just to make a good story. It’s time everyone starts telling the truth

  • Truth hurts

    These family members should stop lying and start trying to find out what really happened instead of starting a gofundme page.

  • Truth be told

    Carbondale police?
    They’ll twist it and cover up another crime. I’ll be surprised if the murderer is convicted. Crooked animals.

  • non judgemental

    Do not no any details of this incident however have seen the video in slow motion. Looks the guy in the left of the screen was walking towards the other guy with a gun pointed at him as he was walking away. The guy who was walking away turned around and lifted his right arm towards the guy as if he was pointing a gun at him. You hear one pop and the man turns back around and continues walking away .

    • Shmofrombuffelo

      Yes, that’s exactly what I seen. You see his arm go up, hear a pop, and then he turns around. One would assume that because three shots were fired, and there were two wounds to Joe, that that indeed was a shot fired by Joe. It has not been confirmed, from what Iv seen, that Joe was unarmed. Did I miss something?

      • Non judgmental

        Seems like the only one’s saying he was unarmed are they same to say he was shot in the back. I find it hard to believe that the off duty cop would be out on the street if he did in fact shoot a unarmed man in the back. That is definitely against police protocol and he should be locked immediately !! This is the state police investigating this case , they are not going to cover up any evidence and jeopardize their career’s for a small town part time cop. May let him slide on a speeding ticket however not this , not with technology today.

      • Gman

        WHere is the video now?!? I cant find it anywhere…..
        I live VERY close to the scene and would love to see what porch camera caught it.

      • Shmofrombuffelo

        Gman, it was taken down this morning because the person who had it took it down as to not infringe on the investigation once it was handed over to authorities.

  • StingerStringer

    Video is out …leaked to FB (smartest move possible)

    That was a stone cold.Murder

    Unarmed.and.trying to.walk away from confrontation…

    The PSP was scrambling to.try to supress the.video …

    But the Leak.to FB has thwarted the Police Spin.Machine ..and now they are Stuck like a tire.in the mud !!!

    #Justice4joe

  • Condor

    Let’s not make Joey out to be an angel. Anybody from Carbondale knows he’s been in trouble his whole life. In an out of jail on a regular basis, always fighting and drugging. I’m not saying it’s ok that he was shot, but it’s really not that surprising.

    • so sad

      Stupidest thing I ever hurd…..I understand living a wild lifestyle there are risks of many tragedies but that doesn’t exclude the fact he was murdered while walking away from police officer..if all you didn’t see video it’s bc your not even close to the circle of people so keep your comments to yourself…
      Murder is murder no matter the circumstances

      #JUSTICEforJOE

      • Condor

        Speaking of stupid. It’s spelled “heard” not “hurd” An d I never saw or heard that he was walking away. How do you shoot somebody in the chest if they are walking away from you? More bullsh*^ from the family.

      • so sad

        He’s walking away from the officer..with officer fallowing him with gun pointed to his back…officer fires a shot joe turn slightly to lift his arm with what seems to be a flashlight on shinning bright..to probley say I want no problems leave me alone starts walking again and then bam joe is dead…you have no clue so get some facts before running your mouth.

      • Patriot

        Sounds like you don’t have a clue either. Funny that no one has seen this video that you keep talking about. Why don’t you wait until the investigation is completed before you run your mouth. First the family tries to start stirring the pot by saying he was shot in the back and now we have “mysterious” videos of the shooting. Sounds to me like somebody is looking for a lawsuit.

  • Brian C.

    If it were the other way around and the Carbondale cop was gunned down you’d see his face all over ever billboard along the highway saying fallen hero. And let’s not forget the money his family would receive. None of this will ever happen for the guy who was gunned down

    • so sad

      The video leaked on fb he was murdered. He was putting HIS HANDS up And shot from across the street….murdered
      #JUSTICEforJOE

      • Condor

        No I’m just smarter than you. You keep talking about the video but never post the link to it. Why would I take your word for it? If he was shot in the back, that would be a different story, but he wasn’t. I want proof before I believe it, people are already lying about what happened.

  • so sad

    The officer killed this man in cold blooded murder. There was no reason what so ever that this officer had to draw his firearm and shoot joe . The officer is a stone cold killer and I hope he gets what he deserves.

    #JUSTICEForJOE

  • sick and tired

    If it wasn’t a cop they would have been in jail already just because he is a cop does not make him above the law MURDER IS MURDER PUT THE SCUMBAG IN JAIL!!!!,

      • sick and tired

        It doesn’t matter Molinaro was unarmed the cop was in the wrong molinaro was a very kind hearted man that would never hurt anyone

      • so sad

        I know as well as you know carbondale police are one of the most corrupt organizations in this area . This investigation was in the process of being covered up right when the trigger was pulled.. so sad

        #JUSTICEforJOE

  • Annoyed civilian

    The people who have to most to say or usually the ones that know the least. Just because one Apple is rotten does not mean that the whole tree is bad. Plus, usually the ones who have negative things to say about police are the ones who get in trouble/or are close with someone who always finds themselves in trouble.

    • E

      No genius, those who have negative things to say about police are often related by blood or marraige and have insight towards law enforcememt. Cops show their true self when they believe no one is listening or no one will remember what is said. I like the bad apple analogy, typical of your region. Lol.

      • Annoyed civilian

        Just like you show your true self when no one is around? His actions were acted out because of who he is as a person. Not because he is cop. He let his title get to his head and made a very bad decision. It makes me sick that instead of discussing him as an individual, people are skipping right over him and going right to degrading police officers in general. I hope the next time you are in desperate need you think back to your cop shaming comments and handle your situation on your own instead of calling 911.

    • Bill De

      Whenever the topic of police brutality comes up, people always say, “Oh, it’s just a case of a few bad apples.” But the expression is not “A few bad apples are really annoying.” or “One bad apple makes the others look bad.” It’s “One bad apple SPOILS the bunch.” That’s why farmers get rid of bad apples. They don’t defend bad apples. They don’t give bad apples promotions. They don’t give bad apples early retirement with full pensions. They throw them out to protect the good ones. If police departments want the respect of the public, they have to earn it by showing that they actually care about their product. Until then, it is perfectly reasonable to assume that the whole barrel is spoiled and the farmer doesn’t care.

  • gigi

    Let’s face it. the individual shot comes from a long line of family with social ills….including murder of an innocent child and relatives that ignored the childs cries of pain. Karma came home to roost.

      • k

        Personally, when I watch the news I believe every thing that they say. But WNEP broadcasted that he was shot in the back. Hundreds (maybe thousands) of people tuned in the head WNEP spew a lie. Once the crime was investigated we found out that he was shot in the chest and leg. I don’t think that only the police are corrupt. I think the news stations are too. WNEP will tell you that the sky is green just to make a good story. It’s time everyone starts telling the truth.

    • so sad

      I can’t believe you think you have the right to pass judgement on a man and his family or relatives after he was just murdered by a outraged off duty police officer. Bring up past issues or things that could degrade a situation. Karma is a word from the devil and we are forgiven by God for our sins. Don’t justify his death with whatever this nonsense you speak of from the past..
      You sicken me

      #JUSTICEforJOE

  • Josh

    Carbondale police are one of the most corrupt police forces in all of Lackawanna County. They give a bad name to honest police officers across the country. Those small town cops think they’re judge jury, and executioner wearing the badge or not they think they can do what they want when they want to. The city should cut all of them and turn the police headquarters into a State Police barracks. They’ll do the job the right way and the city’s police corruption will come to an end……..

  • Ed Killifer

    “Got a Licence To Kill…….And you know I’m going straight for your heart! Got a Licence To Kill….Licence To Kill…”

  • Steve

    Of course they aren’t commenting and have no one in custody, its a cop, they gotta figure out how to justify it all and keep it out of media so it can’t be used in the great gun control debates as evidence that even in “the right hands” the average citizen needs protection.

  • BORIS KRUSCHEV

    Only good thing to come out of Carbondale(besides the hoops state champs in the 90’s) is an empty bus.

Comments are closed.