It’s been a brutal month for law enforcement in Pennsylvania.
When Thursday afternoon’s shooting in the 1100 block of Forest Street claimed the life of a Lebanon City police officer, it was the third law enforcement officer death this month in Pennsylvania.
That’s more deaths in the line of duty than Pennsylvania police have experienced throughout 2021.
The Lebanese officer, whose name was not released by city officials on Thursday, was killed shortly before 4:30 p.m., nearly an hour after police initially responded to what was sent as a call of domestic violence. Two other officers were also shot, although they were both considered to be in stable condition on Thursday evening.
Mayor Sherry Capello said the incident is still under investigation and pledged to answer further questions at a follow-up news conference on Friday.
The Lebanon incident comes just as, in another corner of the state, two Pennsylvania State Police troopers are laid to rest this week after being hit by a suspected drunk driver along the Interstate 95 in Philadelphia on March 21.
In this incident, Troopers Marty Mack and Branden Sisca were struck and killed shortly before 1 a.m. while responding to a call from a man wandering in traffic along the southbound lanes of the highway. As they were leading the man back to a patrol car, all three were hit by a motorist who tried to overtake their stopped police car while driving on the shoulder.
In a tragic irony, the driver of the striking vehicle, Jayana T. Webb, of Eagleville, Montgomery County, had been pulled over by Mack and Sisca for speeding just minutes earlier. Mack and Sisca had been called back from that stop to search for the pedestrian, which was considered a priority call.
Webb is charged with three counts of third-degree murder, three counts of vehicular homicide while driving under the influence and two counts of second-degree manslaughter of a law enforcement officer. order.
Attorney General Josh Shapiro, who attended Mack’s funeral in Levittown earlier Thursday, sent his condolences to the Lebanon Department at the end of the day, writing via Twitter:
“My heart goes out to the Lebanon City Police Department. A sobering reminder of the dangers our brave men and women in uniform face day in and day out. And they keep popping up, running *to* the danger of any way. My thoughts are with the officers and their families.”
Lebanese leader Todd Breiner tried to put things into perspective after Thursday night’s announcement, noting that the loss of a colleague hurt his entire force: “It is clearly a traumatic event. Our guys are strong, but we’re human, and we have families, and people got hurt today. We are touched by this, and with the help of our families and every other law enforcement officer in the country, we will get through this. »