York shooting victim jailed on gun charges; 26 shell casings found at scene

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Pedro Diaz Jr. in a 2017 York County Prison photo

A York City man is now in prison, less than a day after being shot in the head while driving over the North George Street bridge that spans the Codorus Creek.

York City Police said they recovered 26 spent shell casings from the scene of the 2:30 p.m. Monday, April 22, shooting.

Detective First Class Andy Shaffer confirmed the shell casings came from different caliber firearms, but he said police won't know for sure how many guns were fired — and how many people were firing them — until investigators receive reports from crime labs regarding ballistics and possible gunshot residue evidence.

That question also could be answered if witnesses decide to come forward with what they know, he said.

"We can't confirm there were multiple shooters at this point, but common sense would say there were," Shaffer said.

Victim jailed: Shooting victim Pedro Diaz Jr., 25, of the 800 block of Fahs Street, was committed to York County Prison on illegal gun charges the morning of Tuesday, April 23, according to prison records.

He was arraigned Monday night on felony charges of receiving stolen property, possessing a gun with an altered serial number and carrying a firearm without a license, according to court records.

He also was charged with a misdemeanor version of carrying a firearm when he is not legally allowed to possess one, court records state. That charge is filed against those who, as juveniles, have been adjudicated delinquent of criminal charges.

"(Diaz) didn't have anything to say" when investigators tried to speak with him, Shaffer said.

York City Police said that detectives and officers investigating Monday afternoon's shooting found a stolen gun in the rental SUV Diaz was driving.

Investigators are awaiting results of gunshot-residue testing done on Diaz, Shaffer confirmed. At this point, it's unclear whether Diaz fired at the scene.

Stolen Glock .45: Charging documents filed by Detective Travis Sowers state a .45-caliber Glock 21 handgun was spotted between the center console and the front passenger seat of the Dodge Durango rented by Diaz.

Pedro Diaz Jr. escaped serious injury when he was shot behind the ear on the North George Street bridge in York City on Monday, April 22, 2019, York City Police said.
(John A. Pavoncello photo)

Diaz abandoned the SUV — riddled with bullet holes — on the bridge, police said.

Detective Shaffer confirmed some of 26 spent shell casings collected at the scene were .45 caliber but said it's not yet known whether they came from the stolen gun.

Diaz later told detectives a woman he didn't know drove him to York Hospital.

Charging documents state Diaz suffered a non-life-threatening wound behind his right ear while on the bridge and that the shooter or shooters fled the scene.

An eyewitness reported seeing someone shooting at the Durango from a black Volvo XC90 in the 400 block of North George Street, according to charging documents.

Other witnesses told police they heard gunfire, then saw several people run from the Durango, leaving it abandoned on the bridge, documents state.

"(Diaz) tells us he was the only one in the car," Shaffer said. "We believe he wasn't. ... We've reached out to people who we're hoping will decide to talk to us and tell us what they know."

Inside the SUV was a handgun with 11 live rounds in it and the slide locked back, according to police. Its magazine holds up to 15 rounds, police said.

The handgun's serial number was legible but had scratch marks on it that indicate someone tried to destroy it, charging documents allege.

The gun was reported stolen from its owner in Springettsbury Township between March 29 and 31, documents state.

Pedro Diaz Jr. escaped serious injury when he was shot behind the ear on the North George Street bridge in York City on Monday, April 22, 2019, York City Police said.
(John A. Pavoncello photo)

Springetts connection? The getaway car in a shots-fired case from Good Friday, April 19, in Springettsbury Township generally matches the description of the black Volvo involved in Monday's York City shooting.

A black or dark-colored sedan was seen fleeing from East Market Street on Friday and is believed to be driven by the shooter.

In the Springettsbury case, a man got out of his dark-colored sedan near the corner of East Market and Royal streets at 1:23 p.m. and fired on another dark-colored vehicle, township Lt. Tony Beam has said.

Bullets struck two vehicles — including one with a driver it it, according to Beam. That person escaped injury, he said.

More:Springetts PD: Driver fired gun in area bustling with Good Friday traffic

Shaffer said city investigators don't yet know whether there's a connection between the two incidents.

"But we were in contact with Springettsbury Township Police yesterday and today, and we are meeting with them tomorrow," he said on Tuesday.

GVI shooting: Detectives have determined Diaz was targeted and have deemed the incident to be a "GVI related shooting."

York City's Group Violence Initiative, which is a version of the national Group Violence Intervention initiative, aims to reduce gun violence by targeting those committing it, as well as those around such violence who have sway in their communities and who are currently on adult probation.

Charging documents state Diaz was adjudicated delinquent of burglary in 2008, when he was 14 years old.

More:Man shot in head on York City bridge, officials say

District Judge Linda Williams arraigned Diaz on Monday night at York Hospital and set his bail at $150,000, according to court records.

Police are still asking that anyone with information about the shooting call them at 717-846-1234, or text "Yorktips" and your information to 847-411. The texting service is anonymous and is the best way to get information to police, officials have said.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.