Reading Police Chief, Mayor address concerns after weekend of shootings involving youth victims

Reading Police Chief Richard Tornielli and Mayor Eddie Moran issued a public statement Monday evening addressing their concerns with the recent increase in gun violence involving youth in the community. Over the past weekend, two separate shootings in the City has lead to one death and two hospitalized in serious condition.

On Saturday, June 10th, at approximately 12:30am, Reading Police Department patrol officers were dispatched to Pershing Boulevard and Brookline Plaza for a report of a shooting. Upon their arrival to the scene, officers located an 18-year-old victim, identified as Cris Giova Marc Nicolas. He was treated on scene by EMS and transported to Reading Hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

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As of Monday evening, the investigation indicates that a party was taking place at a home on Brookline Plaza. Just prior to the shooting, the victim, accompanied by other individuals, arrived at the location from a party that was taking place in the County. After arriving at the location, that group got into a confrontation with individuals who were at the party on Brookline Plaza. During that altercation, shots were fired, which struck the victim.

On Sunday, June 11th, at approximately 11:30pm, police were dispatched to the area of North 13th Street and Green Street for a shooting. Upon their arrival at the scene, officers located two individuals with gunshot wounds, a 15-year-old and a 22-year-old male. Both victims were transported to Reading Hospital and are listed in serious condition. As of Monday evening, the investigation indicates that the shooting was the result of an earlier argument between the victims and possibly other individuals.

Investigators do not believe the two shootings are related, and say there is no known threat to public safety.

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“These incidents, as well as several others recently in the City, were the result of disputes between individuals that escalated to gun violence. These incidents are also part of another disturbing trend that involves younger and younger members of our community becoming victims of gun violence. There is no place in our community for violence; there are better ways to resolve differences. We as an entire community must stand together to stop these senseless acts that are causing death, injuries, and trauma to our residents and our community at large” said Chief Tornielli.

Mayor Moran added, “It continues to sadden me that our youth and young adults are turning to gun violence to resolve their issues. Every life lost to senseless acts of violence is a tragedy, and we continue to stand united in our commitment to addressing the issue of gun violence head-on. I urge the entire community to come together and support each other during these challenging times. It takes a village. Let us stand in solidarity against violence, so we can foster and build a safer and stronger city for generations to come.”

Anyone with information on either of these incidents is urged to contact the Reading Police Department at 610-655-6116 or anonymously with Crime Alert Berks at 877-373-9913.

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