Police officer 'justified' in firing several shots at suspect outside Wawa in Reading, DA says

A police officer's gunshots that injured a wanted man in the parking lot of a Reading Wawa last month were found to be justified according to the Berks County District Attorney's Office.

An investigation into the September 14 shooting determined the officer, "discharged their weapon lawfully in self-defense and defense of another."

Officer-involved shooting determined to be lawful.

Berks County officials released new surveillance and body cam video showing plain and uniformed officers descending on a Wawa on Lancaster Avenue after reportedly receiving a tip that Emanuel Padilla-Tirado, who was wanted in connection to a shooting, was in the area.

"They were aware that, based on the prior incident, he was potentially armed and dangerous," Berks County District Attorney John Adams said.

Officials say Padilla-Tirado charged the officers when his vehicle got blocked in, striking one of them.

The officer then fired three shots at the suspect as he continued to charge, until his vehicle was stopped by a concrete pillar.

"Padilla-Tirado accelerated his vehicle towards the uniformed officer. The officer fired three shots at the suspect," Adams stated. "The suspect continued to accelerate the vehicle, striking the officer in the concrete pillar in front of the store, causing the vehicle to stop."

Padilla-Tirado was taken into custody and transported to a local hospital along with his female passenger. He was treated for gunshot wounds to his arm and abdomen. No police officers were injured during the incident.


A loaded stolen gun was later found tucked into the suspect's waistband, according to officials. A second loaded gun, along with cocaine and heroin, were reportedly found in his vehicle.

Adams said, regarding Padilla-Tirado, "He's a violent drug dealer. He utilized all means to avoid apprehension, including trying to run over a member of the Reading Police Department."

Padilla-Tirado is being held on $1,000,000 for aggravated assault, simple assault and related charges. 

The officer who shot the suspect will not be charged with any criminal offenses.

"The officer involved was justified in deploying deadly force against Emanuel Padilla-Tirado to ensure the safety of himself and other officers," the DA's office said.