Lehigh Valley

News of pending divorce allegedly prompts man to start shooting

No one was injured during the incident last Friday

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Upon hearing the news that his wife was filing for divorce, an Allentown man allegedly responded by randomly firing a handgun inside the couple’s West Linden Street apartment.

Police charged Jorge L. Gonzalez Jr. with a single count of simple assault following the incident late Friday night in the 100 block of West Linden Street. District Judge Tom Creighton arraigned the 44-year-old Saturday morning, setting bail at $20,000.

Allentown police responded to a report of a shooting about 11:15 p.m. Friday. The victim reported that she had filed for divorce earlier in the day, prompting an argument between her and Gonzalez.

Gonzalez reportedly told his wife, “I’m done with this” before pulling out her gun and firing four or five shots into a closet, according to court records. The victim reported that she was afraid Gonzalez was going to shoot her.

Police said there were several small propane tanks in the closet into which Gonzalez allegedly fired. And a common courtyard was on the other side of the closet wall in the first-floor apartment, according to police.

Officers said they found the handgun hidden above a ceiling tile in the kitchen.

A neighbor told police that she heard five loud bangs from next door at the time of the shooting.

Authorities said Gonzalez was out on bail in connection to an October 2017 arrest on simple assault and reckless endangerment charges. Court records indicate Allentown police charged Gonzalez on Oct. 7 with three counts each of simple assault and reckless endangerment, along with single counts of public drunkenness and disorderly conduct.

He was released from Lehigh County Jail on Oct. 9 after posting $100,000 bail. Those charges are pending in county court.

As for his latest charges, Gonzalez failed to post bail and was sent back to county jail to await a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 23.

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