Federal, state prison time for York man who shot daughter in McDonald's

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

A York City man who accidentally shot his 4-year-old daughter inside a fast-food restaurant in York City in 2018 is now serving both federal and state prison time for his crimes.

Jorge Luis Rosa-Hernandez, 35, of the first block of South Queen Street, pleaded guilty Monday in York County Court to a second-degree felony count of child endangerment.

He was sentenced to two to four years in state prison, to run concurrently with his ongoing federal sentence, according to county court records. Rosa-Hernandez is currently serving eight years in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release, according to federal court records. Supervised release is the federal version of probation.

"He's always been very remorseful about what happened," attorney Rick Robinson told The York Dispatch on Monday. "It's undisputed — it was an accident. The problem is, he was not allowed to have a gun."

Jorge Luis Rosa-Hernandez

Rosa-Hernandez pleaded guilty in federal court in December 2018 to the felony of being a convicted felon in illegal possession of a firearm and was sentenced in December 2019, federal court records state.

The background: Rosa-Hernandez shot his then-4-year-old daughter in the leg inside the McDonald's at 142 S. George St. on April 29, 2018, York City Police have said.

He was hitching up his pants when the gun went off, police said.

A bullet from the .45-caliber Smith & Wesson pistol ricocheted off the floor and struck the girl, who suffered a grazing wound, according to police.

She has recovered, according to defense attorney John Yaninek, who represented Rosa-Hernandez in federal court.

"He feels just terrible about it," Yaninek has said.

The pistol Rosa-Hernandez had that day is legally owned by his wife, but he grabbed it after seeing some people outside McDonald's who caused him concern, according to Yaninek.

"He believes there were some individuals near his car that were pointing at his car," the attorney said. "He felt there was the potential for a problem. That's why he put the firearm in his pocket."

Police have said the wife's gun was in the glove compartment of the couple's vehicle.

After the shooting, Rosa-Hernandez rushed his daughter and wife to York Hospital, Yaninek said.

Police said Rosa-Hernandez then fled the hospital but returned about an hour later and was arrested.

Convicted felon: The reason he is barred from possessing, or even handling, firearms is because he is a convicted felon.

In 2011, Rosa-Hernandez pleaded guilty in Lancaster County Court to the felony of drug possession with intent to deliver, according to court records.

In 2017, he pleaded guilty in York County Court to an ungraded misdemeanor drug-possession charge that carries a minimum sentence of a year, records state. Federal authorities consider some Pennsylvania misdemeanors as "felonies" — those that are punishable by at least a year in prison.

Surveillance video from the McDonald's captured the accidental shooting.

"You can see the whole thing happen, and it's clearly an accident," Yaninek has said of the video.

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

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