Two deaths believed justifiable homicides during robberies
ALLENTOWN (AP) — A prosecutor says the first two homicides of the year in the eastern Pennsylvania city of Allentown, which happened within days of each other, are both believed to have been self-defense during attempted robberies.
Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin ruled Thursday that the killing of a man who broke into an Allentown home and attacked a juvenile the previous weekend was a justified use of self-defense.
Hours after the ruling, authorities said, a man opened fire on the masked armed robber of an east Allentown pizza shop, killing him. Martin said that shooting also was an act of self-defense.
On Jan. 18, a man broke into a home and attacked the juvenile with a metal cane during what authorities called an attempted home invasion. The two fought, and the juvenile stabbed the man during the struggle. Luis Nieves, 48, died a short time later, police said. The juvenile was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Martin determined the homicide was “justifiable on the basis of self-defense,” according to the release from his office.
On Thursday night, a masked man robbed a beverage distributor at gunpoint and then went next door to hold up the pizza shop. The owner of the first business confronted him there and the robber pointed a gun at him and was turning to flee when the first victim fired a legally possessed semiautomatic handgun, prosecutors said.
Darrell Mussa, 27, collapsed in the parking lot and was pronounced dead at a hospital, prosecutors said.
After reviewing the findings of investigators, including in-store video, Martin ruled the homicide “justifiable on the grounds of self-defense,” the prosecutor’s office said in a release.