Σχόλια Αναγνωστών

Pennsylvania man shoots at store clerk during argument over face masks

από Angelica Hosking (2020-10-07)


Adam Zaborowski (pictured in mugshot) allegedly opened fire at a cigar store clerk over a face mask mandate, which later led to a shootout with police officers

A Pennsylvania man who was struggling to cope during the pandemic opened fire at a cigar shop clerk because he did not want to wear a mask, and was involved in a shootout with law enforcement, authorities said. 

Authorities announced that Adam Zaborowski, of Slatington, was charged on Saturday with  22 counts in Lehigh County. 

The charges were specifically broken down into seven counts of attempted homicide, seven counts of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, seven counts of aggravated assault and one count of persons prohibited to possess a firearm. 

A previous aggravated assault conviction banned Zaborowski from owning a firearm.     

Separate charges in Northampton County will include attempted homicide, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of robbery, two counts of reckless endangerment and firearm charges. 

An official motive for the shootings has not been disclosed, but Zaborowski's defense attorney said that stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may have played a factor in his client's actions.

RELATED ARTICLES



Share this article
Share


John Waldron revealed that Zaborowski lost his job because the pandemic and recently lost custody of his child.

'He just wasn't dealing well with the loss of his job, the loss of his child, just not handling the pandemic well,' Waldron told .

Waldron said those reasons don't justify his behavior, but offer insights into Zaborowski's thinking and motivation. 

He added that he's represented Zaborowski in the past.

'I know his dad. I know his mom. I know Adam,' said Waldron. 'From what I hear with these allegations, this is not his typical behavior pattern.'

The shocking incident began just before noon on Friday when Zaborowski visited Cigars International in Bethlehem Township, Northampton County. 

He allegedly refused to wear a face mask, despite both the store and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf's having enforced mandates.

A store clerk offered to serve Zaborowski curbside if he did not want to wear a mask, but the father allegedly did not comply and continued to adamantly argue he did not need a mask.

'At one point the man pulled out a piece of paper and said PA. Law. read line 6. I don't have to wear a mask in here,' Tom Gallagher, a witness, told

However, officials in Pennsylvania reiterated on July 1 that all residents are expected to wear face masks and follow public health guidelines.  

As of Monday, the Quaker State has recorded more than 118,00 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 7,274 deaths. 

Northampton County has counted 3,860 cases and 290 deaths, compared to Lehigh County's 4,849 cases and 335 deaths. 

When the store clerk insisted on a face mask, Zaborowski reportedly grabbed two cigars and ran out of the store without paying for them.

Zaborowski on Friday visited Cigar International in Bethlehem Township, but allegedly became irate after a store clerk insisted her wear a face mask on the premises 

The clerk followed Zaborowski outside the shop to retrieve the stolen items.

That's when Zaborowski brandished a semiautomatic handgun, fired two shots into the air and then aimed on shot at the shop clerk, according to authorities.

A number of patrons were smoking outside of Cigar International at the time of the shooting, but no one was injured. 

Zaborowski fled from the scene in a blue Dodge Dakota pickup truck before police could make contact.  

'It's crazy. You don't expect that at that point in time. Just crazy. It's the mask the guy was obviously anti mask,' said Gallagher.

The next day, authorities were monitoring Zaborowski's home while waiting for the Municipal Emergency Response Team to arrive and serve an arrest warrant.

But Zaborowski left his home and drove off in his vehicle before the warrant could be served. 

State and local officers followed him to an intersection and tried to stop Zaborowski, who allegedly shot at them after exiting his vehicle. He reportedly used an AK-47 and a semi-automatic handgun.

'Both the Slatington Borough officer and troopers returned fire and struck Zaborowski,' a spokesperson said in a new release. 

 During the exchange, Zaborowski was struck in the leg and buttocks. 

'After shooting Zaborowski, both the Slatington Borough police officer and troopers administered first aid to Zaborowski,' the press release read.

Zaborowski was taken the a local hospital, where he was is expected to recover and be released into police custody in a few days.

Waldron acknowledged that his client is very lucky to have survived a shootout with law enforcement.

'They're not shooting at your foot. They're not shooting at your buttocks,' he told Lehigh Valley Live.

'It's kill or be killed. So the fact that he got shot twice with non-life-threatening injures when he had an AK-47 and another handgun, Adam is very fortunate he ended up the way he did.' 

Lehigh County District Attorney James Martin agreed, adding: 'He opened fire on the police officers. He opened fire with an AK-47 and an automatic pistol. Do you think he's lucky?'

Waldron wants to learn more about Zaborowski with mental health evaluations and tests 'to see what exactly was going on in his life to have him react this way.' 

Zaborowski was arraigned from his hospital bed on Saturday and bail was set a $1million. 

He will likely be transferred to the Lehigh County Prison. He will be arraigned on the Northampton County charges at a later time.

Face masks, touted as a vital to curbing the COVID-19 pandemic, became politicized as some Americans claimed mandates have infringed on their rights.  

Tons of images and videos on social media show indignant citizens throwing tantrums inside stores that require face masks. 

Flouting face masks, which has previously been supported by President Trump, appears to do more harm than good. 

Trump was pictured for the first time publicly wearing a face mask in July and told Fox News that he's 'all for masks.'

But in April, he ignored advice from that Center for Disease Control and Prevention and said he likely wouldn't wear one.

'I don't think I'm going to be doing it. Wearing a face mask as I greet presidents, prime ministers, dictators, kings, queens - I just don't see it,' he said at the time. 

Additionally, Trump did not mandate face coverings at his campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June. 

Herman Cain, a former GOP presidential candidate and business man, attended that rally and last week died of COVID-19 at the age of 74. He tested positive nine days after the rally.

Trump denied that Cain contracted the virus while attending the rally. 

As infections spiked in several states, a number of officials have implemented mask mandates and other public health protocols to ensure mitigation efforts.    

Texas and California are among states to require residents to wear masks after infection numbers began to rise in June.

California recorded more than 500,000 infection and just under 10,000 deaths. In California, counties like Los Angeles have carried the brunt of the pandemic.

In Texas, the Rio Grande Valley has been dealt a tough blow regarding the pandemic with 453,000 infections and 7,500 deaths. 

Cameron County, for example, amassed 10,971 cases and 346 deaths. 

The US overall has recorded more than four million cases over the last six months and a rising death toll of nearly 155,000.