Pennsylvania

Police Officer Shoots, Kills Man in South Whitehall Township

The man who was killed has been identified as 44-year-old Joseph Santos.

What to Know

  • An investigation is underway after a police officer shot and killed a man in South Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania.
  • Witnesses told police the man was interfering with traffic and damaging several vehicles.
  • Several Facebook users posted video of what they claimed to be the police-involved shooting though its authenticity has not been confirmed.

An investigation is underway after a police officer shot and killed a man Saturday evening in South Whitehall Township, Pennsylvania.

The ordeal started around 5:45 p.m. when police responded to complaints of a man interfering with traffic at 3712 Hamilton Blvd. near Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom. Witnesses told police the man damaged cars and, at one point, ripped the window out of a vehicle.

A police officer confronted the man, identified as 44-year-old Joseph Santos from Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, and opened fire, striking him at least once after asking him to stand down several times.

Santos was taken to Lehigh Valley Cedar Crest Hospital where he died from his injuries. The officer was placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation, according to Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin.

Investigators have not released the police officer's identity. They also have not revealed what led to the shooting or whether Santos was armed.

"It's very early in the investigation," Martin said. "We have a lot of things to do - a lot of witnesses to speak with."

Several Facebook users posted a witness' video of the police-involved shooting. The video showed Santos walking toward a police vehicle and an officer is heard repeatedly telling him to get on the ground.

Santos continued walking toward the vehicle as the sound of gunfire erupted. The man then fell to the ground.

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