Machete-Wielding Man Shot by Police is Identified

Witnesses who were alarmed, waved police down for help

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC10 Philadelphia
    Feb. 21, 2013: Allentown police shot a man they say was armed with a machete, walking the streets.

    The man who was allegedly armed with a machete before Allentown police shot and killed him Thursday has been identified as 44-year-old Saturnino Perez De La Rosa, of Allentown.

    Witnesses say they saw De La Rosa with the machete walking north on Linden from 12th street. Officers responding were waved down at Oak and Howard Streets.

    Lehigh County district attorney, James B. Martin, said four police cars responded initially, each with one officer inside. They saw a man with a silver machete that was between one and a half to 2 feet long.

    The man was making wild motions while mumbling and acting combative and aggressive. The officers deployed two tasers. One missed, the other hit the man. But it had no effect, possibly because of his thick clothes.

    De la Rosa used his machete to cut the taser wires, according to the DA. That’s when one officer fired his gun, but it’s not clear if the man was hit because again there was no effect.

    The man kept moving, ducking behind a pickup truck, then coming back out toward officers.
    Another officer fired a taser while two other officers opened fire multiple times.  13 bullet casings were found at the scene.

    Police say he was still combative despite being tazed, shot and handcuffed. He was taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital Cedarville where he died at 2pm. An autopsy revealed De La Rosa died of gunshot wounds to his body.

    Martin says preliminarily, this is a justified use of force by officers.

    The machete is being processed for fingerprints and other evidence.