JIM THORPE — A Lansford, Carbon County, police officer shot himself to death Friday night in downtown Jim Thorpe after he took a fellow police officer hostage, the Morning Call of Allentown reported.
The suicide happened at 8:20 p.m. on Broadway, about one-tenth of a mile west of Route 209 in Jim Thorpe, state police at Lehighton said. Other officials identified the dead officer as David Midas, 33, of Lansford.
Midas had been a parttime officer for Lansford since 2002. He also was a deputy sheriff for Carbon County.
State police said there was nothing suspicious about the officer’s death, but the investigation was not over.
A police officer in Jim Thorpe said Midas had taken another officer hostage earlier in the evening and forced him to ride with him in a Lansford police car.
In Jim Thorpe, the officer shot himself after a struggle with the fellow officer, police said.
Rose Mary Cannon, Lansford Borough Council president, said the initial reports from Jim Thorpe were alarming.
“I’m very upset,” said Cannon, who has two sons on the Lansford police force. “I’d really like to know the actual information.”
She said she learned by 9 p.m. that a part-time Lansford officer took another officer hostage, and the part-time officer was shot in Jim Thorpe, 10 miles northeast of Lansford.
“You see crazy things happening in other places,” she said. “You don’t want to see things like this happening this close to home.”
Midas’ condition was not immediately disclosed, but after a helicopter was called to move him to a hospital, the flight was canceled. State police early Saturday reported the officer had died of a suicide.
An officer in Jim Thorpe said Midas, who was off duty and acting erratically, had grabbed ammunition from the Lansford police station before leaving the borough Friday. It wasn’t clear what he intended to do with the ammo.
The report of one officer hostage and another shot drew police cars to Jim Thorpe from throughout Carbon County.
Lansford’s police force is without its chief, John Turcmanovich, who recently went on medical leave. Detective Sgt. Jack Soberick has been in charge of the department.
- Frank Warner, The (Allentown) Morning Call
JIM THORPE, Pa. — A reported hostage situation in rural northeastern Pennsylvania is said to have involved two police officers.
WFMZ-TV said an off-duty police officer in Lansford, Carbon County, allegedly took another officer hostage at the police station on Friday night and stole a police cruiser and weapons.
The station reports the off-duty officer then drove with the hostage about 10 miles east to Jim Thorpe, where a fight broke out in the cruiser and the officer who had been taken hostage then shot his alleged captor in the head.
The officer who was shot has been rushed to the hospital. There is no word on his condition or his identity.