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Gunfire sparks increased frustration, fear in Kutztown

By Ryan Hughes, Reporter, RHughes@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 11 2012 06:00:00 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 12 2012 05:20:07 PM CST

An investigation has been launched in Kutztown, Berks Co., after shots rang out over the weekend.

KUTZTOWN, Pa. -

An investigation has been launched in Kutztown, Berks Co., after shots rang out over the weekend.

The gunfire has turned the once quiet borough into a borough overcome with frustration and fear. Now, some residents have called on police.

"We're frightened for our neighborhood and for everybody else's safety," said Judith Emerich, who has lived in Kutztown for five years.

Emerich and her neighbors said they have reached a breaking point in Kutztown.  

According to investigators, several shots were fired early Saturday morning in the 300 block of Main Street.

"Having random shots fired like that is extremely scary, there's residents and children that live on Main Street," said Tasha Frey, who is afraid someone is going to get killed.

According to police, around 2:30 a.m., three men in a car pulled over to confront seven other men walking along the street. Words were exchanged, but the larger group walked away.

Surveillance video showed the three men get back inside their vehicle, pull away, and fire three shots into the air. A Kutztown police officer heard the shots and tried to track down the shooter, said investigators.

The officer fired two shots at the car in an attempt to disable it. The driver pulled over, confessed to pulling the trigger and had a permit for the handgun found in the glove box, said investigators.

Nobody was arrested, but now residents want something done.

"Our car has been stolen, and we've had our car broken into at least five or six times," said Jen Lindsay, who has lived in Kutztown for five years. "I think there needs to be more of a police force to compensate the growing number of students."

Many residents do not put the entire blame on the students, but said police need to step up and make their presence known.

"The police need to be on foot, walking up and down the street, not just Main Street. They need to be walking up the side streets," said Frey.

Charges are pending upon completion of the investigation.