State Police Investigating Man Shot Dead by Police Officer near Allentown

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SOUTH WHITEHALL TOWNSHIP, Pa. -- State police are investigating after a man was shot and killed by a police officer near Allentown.

It happened just before 6 p.m. Saturday along Hamilton Boulevard in South Whitehall Township, Lehigh County just feet from Dorney Park.

Video posted to Facebook shows the man walking toward a South Whitehall Township police cruiser. The officer can be heard warning the man repeatedly to get on the ground before firing five times.

WARNING: Graphic content. WNEP has edited the video to freeze at the time the first shot is fired.

Authorities say township police were responding to reports of damaged vehicles in the area and a man interfering with traffic.

Witnesses said the man darted into traffic and was jumping on cars.

"The officers did respond to a report of a man in the area. They investigated, encountered, and the incident unfolded from there," said South Whitehall Township Police Chief Glen Dorney.

The officer is on paid administrative leave while state police investigate, according to the Morning Call newspaper.

The victim was identified as Joseph Santos, 44, of Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey.

The officer has not been identified at this time.


  • Fredric Underhill

    Five shots.

    That’s intent anywhere. Thankfully it was caught on video.

    How safe do you feel when you see a uniform?

    • jimbrony

      Intent. Yep, I’ll bet you when that cop started his shift he probably said to himself: ‘Boy, I really hope I come across some lunatic today that I get to shoot’. I feel perfectly safe when I see a uniform. Of course, I don’t run around on a busy highway ripping windows out of cars, hanging off the side of police cruisers, and if I do get pulled over for some infraction, I comply with the officers orders. It’s not that difficult. Oh yeah, video. Watch the one where from one angle it looks like a cop shot an unarmed, non-threatening man. But another camera angle showed the man pulling a gun from his pants. Think you can do better? Man up and wear the badge, clean things up. You won’t though because cowards just flap their gums but do nothing else. So shut up already.

  • ozzycoop

    No cops dont get to shoot an unarmed man just for walking toward them. It does not matter how many times he was warned. This is why cops are trained. This is why they carry tasers and pepper spray. Non lethal measures for a non lethal situation. It is like that cop in Pittsburgh who shot that kid in the back as he was running away. No weapon and he had his back to the cop. Not a threat. They weren’t even sure that kid committed that drive by shooting. All they had was a car description. Not following orders isn’t a death sentence. It is a jail sentence. LICKERBLISTERS is an idiot.

    • lickerblisters

      How is this ANYTHING like the kid running away from the cop in Pittsburgh? You do realize the difference between “away” and “towards” don’t you? Gosh I dislike stupid people!

    • jimbrony

      So now we’re going to base our justice system on short, blurry video clips taken by bystanders at a distance. In that case, I’ll stand across the street from your house and when you go to get in your car I’ll turn the video over to the police and tell them you were stealing that car. Put the pitchforks and torches away and let due process take its course. Better yet, why don’t you put the badge and uniform on for a while? I’m taking bets you would either urinate yourself or empty your magazine on the first confrontation you have.

  • jsrant

    Once again a person with mental issues or possibly on a drug is aloud to walk around. Someone on drugs is hard to detect but mental issues, that is something different. Maybe if we stop letting people with mental issues just be out in public these situations could be stopped along with other like problems. Maybe, maybe not. Just a thought.

      • lickerblisters

        When a cop tells you to stop the first time, YOU STOP! When you choose to push it to the sixth time, you’re flipping a coin on life. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not all “pro cop” and such but you just can’t blow these guys off like that.

      • jimbrony

        Some people have trouble understanding orders from authority figures. Our generation got their back side beat at school if we acted up, then got it again when we got home. Not today, it’s child abuse…

      • peatermoss

        So I guess that yellow Taser gun that all cops carry is only there to add more weight to their belt, Really, 5 body shots!
        A shot to the knee would bring anybody down.
        Excessive force.

      • jimbrony

        “A shot to the knee” Didn’t know that Mossy Peter was a precision marksman as well as a professional truck driver. Your comment speaks volumes of how clueless you are.

      • peatermoss

        Hey Stunad
        I see that You evaded the Taser part of my comment.
        Yeah I guess 5 shots at the legs wou not work, I bet not 1 one would’ve hit the target, seeing how they only use a silhouette in target practice and not the full form of a person.

      • jimbrony

        Mossy Peter would like people to think he’s an authority on things. Reminds me of that blowhard internet tough guy Rusty Knyffe (who curiously doesn’t come around any more). Anyhow, I’ll indulge you just because you’re too much fun to mess around with. You answered your own question, fool, with the silhouette target. Since neither you or I were there, and you obviously have no idea what you’re talking about anyway, let’s reserve judgement and questioning of the officers actions until the facts come out. Or, you can choose to open mouth and insert foot like you usually do.

      • jimbrony

        As I’ve said before, a wise person will withhold judgement and only comment after facts are known. Thanks for proving once again that you’re not. Wise, that is. Oh, BTW, not all Tasers are yellow.

      • Bryan Revel (@Bru_said_it)

        Lickerblisters stop it. You don’t get to shoot an unarmed man because he didn’t comply. There’s a thing called a use of force continuum. You can blow them off and there’s a consequence for that action. That consequence isn’t supposed to be death. Jimbrony instead of talking about the past talk about today when people are killed for things that used to get them spanked. In my day, talking back and spanking never resulted in getting shot 5 times. There’s no such thing as training for a knee shot but all officers have other options. He could have even retreated to his vehicle until backup came if it was a worse case scenario and he was afraid to engage. Then Jim the best part about you saying to reserve judgement is in the next statemnet you say suicide by cop. Unarmed suicide by cop? How does that work?

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