Lehigh Valley

Whitehall Township police officer shot, suspect in custody

Officer expected to be okay

WHITEHALL TWP., Pa. -  A Whitehall Township police officer was shot while responding to a burglary call, the mayor said.

Whitehall Township Mayor Ed Hozza told 69 News officers responded to burglary call around 2 a.m. Saturday in the 4700 block of Main Street.

One of the officers was shot in the leg with a shotgun with birdshot, Hozza said. The officer is a nine-year veteran of the force.

The officer is in ICU but in stable condition, Whitehall Police Chief Michael Marks said.

The Lehigh County District Attorney's Office said they arrested William Sturtevant, 46, of Whitehall.

District Attorney Jim Martin said Sturtevant shot the officer during an apparent case of mistaken identity.

Martin said Sturtevant had called police to the home because he was worried about a potential copper pipe theft.

Martin said Sturtevant was hiding in an upstairs closet and when Whitehall Police officers entered the basement of the home; Sturtevant opened fire down the stairs and struck one of the officers.

Whitehall Police Chief Michael Marks said his officers identified themselves several times outside and inside the home.

"It appears he mistook the officers for the burglars he anticipated encountering," Martin said. " "You can't be a vigilante you shouldn't use or attempt to use deadly force to protect property."

Sturtevant is charged with several felonies including Assault of Law Enforcement Officer and Aggravated Assault.

No one else was injured.

Sturtevant is expected to be arraigned at Lehigh County Central Booking on Saturday.


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