Drive-by shooting creates tense moments Sunday in Shenandoah
SHENANDOAH - An argument led to a shooting early Sunday morning on Main Street, according to information police released Monday.
The alleged shooter, Jose Manuel Arroyo, 24, of 211 S. Eighth St., Reading, is in Schuylkill County Prison in lieu of $500,000 cash bail set by on-call Magisterial District Judge Christina E. Hale, Frackville.
Police said the investigation into the shooting is continuing and additional arrests are expected.
Shenandoah police Patrolman Robert Senape said that before 1 a.m., he and Patrolman Joseph Hahn were called to investigate reports of shots fired in the area of the Oyster Bar, 113 S. Main St. At the scene, they were met by a man, whom police did not identify, who said he saw two girls arguing as he was walking by the bar. He said a man, later identified as Arroyo, lifted up his shirt and revealed a gun.
Senape said witness statements show that the argument stopped and Arroyo and one of the women, identified as Vanessa M. Najunas, Shenandoah, ran from the area to Oak Street.
Senape said that Arroyo then turned and fired several shots in the direction of the witness who, along with several others, ran into the Oyster Bar.
As the group entered the bar, Arroyo and Najunas came around the corner in a white Volkswagen with Najunas driving. As the car passed, Senape said Arroyo fired several shots over the roof of the car from the passenger's side toward the Oyster Bar.
One of the bullet fragments hit Michael Benjamin in the upper left arm as he was standing on the sidewalk. Benjamin suffered nonlife-threatening injuries.
Najunas and Arroyo drove south on Route 61 toward Reading but were apprehended shortly thereafter by Schuylkill Haven Police Sgt. Robert Phillips, assisted by Orwigsburg police.
Hahn then went to the area where the pair were stopped - at the Manheim Diner, Schuylkill Haven - and recovered a 9 mm handgun from the glove compartment of the vehicle.
Senape said officers closed the 100 block of South Main Street and a search yielded several 9 mm bullet casings and bullet fragments.
A bullet hole was found in the side of a church building at South Main and East Oak streets that is used to distribute food to people in the borough.
Senape said Arroyo was read his Miranda Rights and interviewed by Capt. George Carado about 5 a.m. During the interview, Senape said Arroyo admitted firing two rounds from the weapon.
Mahanoy City police helped collect evidence, as did state police troopers from the Forensic Services Unit based at Troop L headquarters in Reading.
Senape charged Arroyo with six felony counts of aggravated assault and one felony count each of discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, firearms not to be carried without a license and former convict not to own a firearm.
Senape also charged Arroyo with three misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person and one misdemeanor charge of possessing instruments of crime.
Arroyo will now have to answer to the charges before Magisterial District Judge Anthony J. Kilker, Shenandoah.