Lehigh Valley

More charges possible in Allentown 'love triangle' shooting

Authorities investigating possible self-defense

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - When Allentown police responded to what authorities deemed a love triangle, they found one man lying on the floor suffering from three gunshot wounds, and the man who allegedly shot him walking down the stairs with his arms raised.

Jonathan Melendez, of North Third Street in Allentown, is facing a single felony count of illegal possession of a firearm. District Judge Michael Faulkner arraigned the 29-year-old Tuesday night.

When police were dispatched to a home in the first block of Adams Island shortly before 2:30 a.m. Tuesday to investigate a reported shooting, officers found a 45-year-old Catasauqua man lying next to a staircase suffering from three gunshot wounds. They also found a woman suffering from a gunshot wound to her foot.

While officers spoke with the woman, Melendez emerged from the second floor with his arms raised, according to court records.

Police said they found several spent shell casings as they walked up the stairs and a Smith and Wesson handgun with an empty magazine at the top of the step.

The 41-year-old woman told investigators that Melendez shot the other victim several times as well as shooting her in the foot. Police said the woman legally owned the handgun.

Allentown police said Tuesday that an investigation revealed a love triangle between Melendez and the woman. The man reportedly showed up at the Adams Island home with his legally-owned handgun to confront his wife and Melendez, according to police.

Court records indicate Melendez pleaded guilty in July 2008 to a prohibited weapons offense, making it illegal for him to possess a firearm.

Allentown police said Wednesday that the investigation continues into whether additional charges may be filed by the Lehigh County District Attorney’s Office. Authorities are also working to determine whether a case can be made for self-defense.

Melendez failed to post bail following his arraignment and was sent to Lehigh County Jail to await a June 13 preliminary hearing.

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