Tuesday, 10 August 2021 15:44

‘You want to die?’ asked man in fatal shootout outside Target in Lower Nazareth, court records say

Elijah Johnathan Johnson, of the Canadensis area of Barrett Township, died of multiple gunshot wounds, and Northampton County Coroner Zach ...

A 20-year-old Monroe County man was killed Sunday afternoon in the parking lot shootout that sent shocked shoppers scrambling outside Target in the Lower Nazareth Commons shopping center.

Elijah Johnathan Johnson, of the Canadensis area of Barrett Township, died of multiple gunshot wounds, and Northampton County Coroner Zach Lysek ruled his death a homicide.

Injured in the shootout was 22-year-old Jayzell Avery Sanders from the Mount Pocono area. He was shot in the right shoulder and taken to an area hospital, where he is in stable condition.

The gunfire erupted a little before 2:15 p.m. Northampton County District Attorney Terry Houck said in a news release Monday that Sanders was in the front passenger seat of a black Buick Regal in the parking lot of the Target. Two men in a white car then approached and got into the backseat of the Buick.

Shooting outside Target in Lower Nazareth Township: One man dead, one wounded »
According to court records:

Sanders said the two men started to argue with the driver, with one of the men asking “you want to die?”

Sanders said he then got out of the car and started to run toward the front of the store as the men started shooting at him. Sanders started firing back with a .22-caliber gun he had with him. Then, while he was running, he put the gun under a car parked in the lot.

Video surveillance from Target confirmed Sanders ran through the lot while shooting back toward the Buick with a handgun. Sanders does not have a license to carry a concealed weapon.

Sanders was charged with not having a license to carry a concealed weapon and reckless endangerment. District Judge John Capobianco set bail for Sanders at $15,000 and he remained Monday afternoon in Northampton County Jail, court records showed.

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Police found Sanders in front of the Target with a gunshot wound to his right shoulder.

Court records indicate police found another man by the passenger side of the Buick suffering from gunshot wounds, but do not indicate who it was. Houck said he is not releasing where Johnson was when he was shot, how he was hit or whether he was with the other three men, but said that it is not a random incident.

Colonial Regional police Chief James DePalma said Sunday it doesn’t appear anyone else was injured, adding he doesn’t believe there is any ongoing danger to the public.

Witnesses in the parking lot described hearing the gunshots, seeing a man covered in blood and shoppers rushing to leave the store. After police arrived, the store was evacuated except for employees. Stores in the shopping center and the neighboring Wegmans supermarket were locked down for several hours.

“I just came to get some shorts,” a man who witnessed the shootout said. “This is such a nice community and something like this has to happen.”



Disclaimer: The ideas are the personal thoughts and opinions of Nate Covington and do not necessarily reflect the position of Barrett Township or the Board of Auditors.

natecovington (at) protonmail (dot) com

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