Shooting at 12th and Cotton streets in Reading

READING, Pa. — From a rash of drug overdoses to gunfire on the streets, it has been a busy week for Reading's police officers and paramedics.

The city's latest shooting, which happened Tuesday night in the 1200 block of Cotton Street, has left a 45-year-old woman in critical condition.

The victim was shot multiple times in front of her home, according to the police. They said she was rushed to Reading Hospital, where she was last reported to be in critical condition.

Investigators said they are still seeking information from witnesses or anyone who has information about what happened.

That shooting came a day after a pair of shootings elsewhere in the city.

Two high school-aged boys were shot Monday afternoon, while walking in the 1000 block of Spring Street, near North 10th. At last check, one of the victims was hospitalized in critical condition.

Later that evening, a 32-year-old man was struck in the head by shrapnel from shots that were fired as he sat in the 1100 block of Moss Street. The victim suffered a minor injury, according to the police.

Reading police Chief Richard Tornielli

Reading police Chief Richard Tornielli

Despite the recent incidents of violence, police Chief Richard Tornielli said there is good news to report.

"Overall — and this is not window-dressing — crime is down throughout the city when we see crime raising drastically across the country," he told the city council at its meeting Monday night. "We are on top of things."

While all of the shootings remain under investigation, the police and the district attorney's office are trying to identify the drug that has caused more than 100 people in Berks County to overdose since Friday morning, including one who later died.

Crime Alert Berks County text-a-tip

Five people are in custody as a result of the overdose investigation, but no arrests have been made in any of the shootings. Anyone with information that can help the police is asked to contact Crime Alert Berks County by calling 877-373-9913 or by texting 847411, starting the message with keyword alertberks.

As is the case with their probe of the drug overdoses, detectives have had recent success with some of their homicide investigations.

On Monday, they announced that they obtained a warrant for the arrest of Jairo Guerrero-Bautista on charges of first- and third-degree murder. He's a suspect in the killing of three men on Moss Street on Dec. 12, 2018.

Also, last Friday, RPD homicide investigators announced the arrest of Valentine Meredith on homicide charges in the killing of Tyre Little on Jan. 12, 2021.

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