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Pa. police say uncovered coughing led to convenience store shooting

The Associated Press

JOHNSTOWN, Pa. - A confrontation that apparently began over coughing in a convenience store parking lot resulted in gunfire, Johnstown Police said in court documents released Tuesday.

Two men were charged with aggravated assault.

The police affidavit used to support charges against Guillermo Diaz Alvarez said the other defendant, William Suaro, said he told Alvarez Saturday afternoon “to cover when he coughed because of the virus that is going around.”

Suaro told police a confrontation ensued and Alvarez fired into the front windshield and toward a tire on Suaro’s car.

But police said the store’s surveillance video showed a confrontation occurred as Alvarez walked past Suaro’s car, after which Suaro got out. Both men were seen with hands in the air, and then Suaro got back into his vehicle and drove it into Alvarez, police said.

The vehicle hit Alvarez in the legs, forcing him to jump backward and brace himself on the hood, according to the affidavit.

Alvarez was then seen pulling out a concealed .45 handgun and firing it at Suaro’s vehicle, police said.

Suaro, 53, was charged with assault and reckless endangerment. He made bail on Monday and has applied for a public defender.

Alvarez, 56, was also charged with assault and reckless endangerment, and a firearms violation. The county jail said Tuesday that he remains behind bars.

Both live in Johnstown and neither appeared to have a listed home phone.