Four hurt in string of shootings in the Poconos

Mount Pocono. Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Chris Wagner said in a Tuesday press conference that four suspects from Tobyhanna, ages 16 to 22, are now in custody.

| 20 Jan 2021 | 01:32

(AP) Authorities early on Tuesday lifted a shelter-in-place order hours after a string of shootings left at least four people injured in a community in the Pocono Mountains.

Shots rang out on Monday not far from each other in at least four different areas of Monroe County, Pa. A woman was flown to a hospital with a gunshot wound to her back, while another victim appeared to be shot in the head, according to Pocono Mountain Regional Police Chief Chris Wagner.

Wagner said in a Tuesday afternoon press conference that all suspects believed to be involved in the shooting are now in custody. “We do not feel that the community is in any further danger,” said Wagner.

The four suspects, all from Tobyhanna, include Laron Watson, 22; Solidin Hamilton, 22; Jahlayah Blondell, 20; Aja Nay Watson, 19; and an unnamed 16-year-old juvenile, who will be charged as an adult. Charges include attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, possessing an instrument of crime, and other related charges.

One of the other victims suffered a gunshot to the arm and the fourth victim was hit in the leg. None of their medical conditions were disclosed.

The Monroe County Office of Emergency Management tweeted at about 8:48 p.m. on Monday that residents “on the 196 corridor between Pocono Country Place and Pocono Farms East’’ should shelter in place and report any suspicious activity. The order was lifted just after 3 a.m. Tuesday.

In a separate statement, the office said police located multiple victims at the first reported shooting in the Pocono Country Place neighborhood. A second shooting was reported at a nearby shopping center, followed by a third shooting along Pennsylvania Route 196 with a victim and a fourth shooting nearby with another victim, the office said.

Mount Pocono Borough Mayor Michael Penn posted on Facebook that there were four or five crime scenes Monday night and “multiple police forces at this time in the Coolbaugh/Tobyhanna areas.’’

“Rapid gunfire was reported in A Pocono Country Place, at the Dollar General store in Tobyhanna, at Stoogies on Route 196, and at multiple locations,” Penn said.