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Bystander fired at Pittston Township shooter, DA reveals

A woman was injured in an early-June shooting at a shopping complex. We're learning the man charged with attempted homicide wasn't the only one who fired shots.

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. — More information is coming to light about the shooting early this month near Walmart in Pittston Township. The Luzerne County District Attorney confirmed to Newswatch 16 that an armed citizen was just yards away when the first shots rang out.

Chaos unfolded outside Envy Nails in Pittston Township on the first of the month. State Police said it began when 37-year-old New York resident Christopher Carmona was captured on security cameras pushing a shopping cart and looking into vehicles in the parking lot.

"Reportedly, he was going through her vehicle, and she came out and confronted him," said Sam Sanguedolce, Luzerne County district attorney. "That is what lead to the gunfire."

Investigators said Carmona shot a 20-year-old woman twice in the back with a handgun, alleging the victim and shooter did not know one another. 

For the first time, officials confirm a bystander then engaged the alleged shooter, wielding a gun of his own.

"An armed citizen was present at the nail salon. He was legally carrying a sidearm. He had his family members there at the salon and heard the gunshots. He exited the nail facility and confronted the gunman, fired what we believe to be three shots," Sanguedolce said. "He aimed at the assailant but did not strike him with any rounds."

Carmona was arrested after an hours-long search; found walking along Route 309 with two pistols and a pocket full of bullets. While the district attorney did not endorse the bystander's actions, he said the citizen was protected by PA's Stand Your Ground laws. 

"When someone displays what appears to be a deadly weapon, you can presume that they intend deadly force or serious bodily injury, in which case you would be authorized to use your weapon to in defense of yourself or others," he said. "It's very dangerous. I would be very hesitant to give anyone advice to start engaging in gunfire."

When we asked the DA why the armed citizen's shots were initially left out of official records, he said police refrain from publishing information when actions are justified.

"It has a tendency to, number one, chill the effect of someone who may be a witness in our case, and number two, could bring, you know, public derision, if you will, or protest to their attention when they've done nothing wrong," Sanguedolce said.

Carmona was charged with attempted homicide and is in Luzerne County prison. 

A Go Fund Me page, set up for the victim in the case, has now raised close to $15,000 of a $20,000 goal.

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