News

York mayor: 'What the hell is wrong with you? You shot at a baby'

Written by Eileen Joyce and Ted Czech/The York Daily Record | Feb 14, 2018 5:58 AM
York_shooting_pennstreet.jpg

York City Police are investigating a shooting in which one man died in the 200 block of South Penn Street in York on Monday night. (Photo: Ted Czech, York Daily Record)

(York) -- The man who was shot and killed inside a York home Monday night was holding a one-year child, according to York Mayor Michael Helfrich.

In an impassioned Tuesday morning Facebook video, Helfrich spoke sternly about the first homicide since he's taken office. He encouraged residents to call the police department with information.

Police have identified the victim as 32-year-old Matthew Alexander Bell.

"What you might not have heard and what is really disgusting about this is that Mr. Bell was holding a one year old baby," Helfrich said. "This isn't a beef. This isn't something over territory. Whoever out there that did this, you shot at a baby. What the hell is wrong with you?"

He later said: "When you're just randomly shooting up places, my God, you're going straight to hell."

Police are now looking for those responsible, York City Police Lt. Gene Fells said Tuesday. Fells also said the baby was not injured when Bell was shot and killed.

"Unknown suspects shot into the house from the outside," Fells said. "There were several people inside the house including some small children."

Bell, of York, was found dead at the home in the 200 block of South Penn Street, according to a news release. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An unidentified 17-year-old victim was taken to York Hospital. He had a bullet wound to his left side and is listed in stable condition, according to the release.

Investigation

An autopsy on Bell's body, in hopes of determining his cause and manner of death, is scheduled for Wednesday morning at Lehigh Valley Hospital, York County Coroner Pam Gay said.

"We're treating it as a homicide," she said Tuesday morning. 

As far as what may have caused the shooting, Fells said, "We're still trying to follow up on information we got from witnesses."

Mayor on Gun Violence Initiative

Helfrich indicated on his Facebook page that he had responded to the scene of the shooting and said the incident falls under the city's Group Violence Initiative:

"My prayers and condolences to the parents, girlfriend and extended family of the young man who was killed this evening in a home on S Penn St.," Helfrich wrote. "Earlier I provided his girlfriend's mom with the emergency number that has been created to assist the families of victims of violence, as well as other at-risk individuals.

"This is part of the expansion of our Group Violence Initiative," he continued. "We will help those that need help. Those that do not accept our help and choose violence will be removed for the sake of our peace-loving residents. My prayers also go out for the other young man who has been taken to the hospital."

How to help

Anyone with information related to the shooting is encouraged to call the York City Police Department at 717-846-1234 or text tips to 847-411 or download the York City PD App. 

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The York Daily Record.

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