WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The scene has been cleared and the roads reopened after a tense lockdown that occurred Friday morning in Wilkes-Barre.
The incident began around 8:40 Wilkes-Barre police used a bull horn to urge a person who they believe is was A possibly armed man seen on the third floor of a building around North River and West Union Street.
“I hear this get down on the ground and I see this cop pull in with his gun up that way. All of a sudden kept going, get down on the ground, and I closed the windows and shades,” explained Mario Velazquez, who lives in the building where the incident occurred.
Heavily armed officers could be seen around the location of the report.
“I’m looking around there are cops all over the place then all of a sudden I opened my shades again one of the cops came up to my window–go back, go back to my room,” stated Velazquez.
An alert sent to King’s College students stated that the McGowan School of Business was on lockdown and that students in the area should shelter in place.
“I had class at McGowan Kings College, when I was walking I saw a decent amount of officers walking up River Street. As I was walking a lot of the officers seemed startled. They were very alarmed that I was walking on the street and they told me to walk across and go about my day,” explained Samuel Nalesnik, a Kings College student.
Residents of the building were evacuated and told to come out with their hands up. Since the police did not know if one of the residents could be the person with the gun.
Both North River and West Union Streets were shut down while officers investigated.
“One of our tenants called and said such and such in a certain common area of the building and I told him to call 911,” said Tom Dombroski, who owns the building where the incident happened.
“I was in contact with police after they had come. They let me through the barricade and I allowed them into whatever apartment they wanted to go into. I provided them with all the keys. We’ve been here 42 years now and we never had anything like this happen before,” explained Dombroski.
People who live in the area watched the intense situation unfold.
“I’m not surprised. It’s sad what’s going on in downtown Wilkes-Barre, it is what it is, it’s a shame,” stated Deno Pentelakos, who lives in downtown Wilkes-Barre.
Around 12:15, after a thorough investigation by police, no person was found inside the building and the scene was cleared. Police say there is no danger to the public.
Wilkes-Barre police say they never found a person with a gun but insist they never take any chances and carried out an intense search of the area.