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Neighbors on edge after deadly shooting behind Easton church

By John Craven, Reporter, JCraven@wfmz.com
Published On: Apr 02 2012 04:31:41 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 03 2012 04:44:16 AM CDT

A double shooting is the latest case of violence in the Easton area.

EASTON, Pa. -

A double shooting is the latest case of violence in the Easton area.

Authorities have identified the man killed in the city's west ward Sunday night as Matthew Kelly, 20, of Bethlehem.

Kelly was a 2010 graduate of Nazareth Area High School, according to his Facebook page.

A second man, who was shot and stabbed, is recovering at an area hospital.

Police are investigating whether the two men were shooting at each other.

A house of God is supposed to be a sanctuary, but in the parking lot behind Christ Lutheran Church on Spruce Street, the bullets were flying.

"This is a matter of people being on the streets, armed with guns," said Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli.

Neighbors told 69 News they heard several gunshots just after 9 p.m. In addition to Kelly, authorities said a 24 year-old man was also wounded. Police are not identifying the man or the hospital he's in for his own safety.

Detectives said the two knew each other, and have already interviewed the survivor in the hospital.

"Could have been involved in drug dealing gone bad. It could have been a robbery gone bad," said Morganelli. "We just don't know yet."

Several neighbors said they didn't hear any arguing before the gunfire, but did see a man in a white T-shirt run away afterward.

A red Saturn that sped away with a shot-out windshield was later located in Whitehall Twp., Lehigh Co., according to police.

Morganelli said ballistics tests will determine if the two victims were shooting at each other, but that could be quite some time before he decides whether to file charges against anyone.

"I don't expect that this matter is going to be resolved today, tomorrow, or the next few days," he said, "in terms of a decision on whether or not charges are appropriate or against whom."

Court records indicated Matthew Kelly had several prior traffic charges, including a DUI, as well as a marijuana possession conviction. The records, however, do not indicate anything violent.

Detectives are also interviewing two young women who the D.A. said were present during this shooting. Morganelli could not confirm whether one of them was driving the red Saturn that sped away.