Caln Township officer justified in shooting car thief after chase, crash: DA

Richard Luminello allegedly led police on a chase after stealing a vehicle at a Wawa on East Lancaster Avenue.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2023
DA: Car theft suspect shot by officers after threatening to shoot
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A suspected car thief was shot by police on Wednesday morning in Caln Twp., Pa. after he allegedly threatened to shoot officers.

CALN TWP., Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- The Chester County District Attorney has ruled an officer's use of force was justified in the shooting of a suspected car thief.

Richard Luminello, 56, of Philadelphia, allegedly led police on a chase after stealing a vehicle at a Wawa on East Lancaster Avenue in Downingtown Borough back on Feb. 22.

Authorities say Luminello failed to pull over and drove erratically at a high rate of speed in Caln Township before crashing into an officer's car near Westerham and Shelburne roads.

Luminello then allegedly continued to ignore the police and at one point turned toward officers and shouted "I'll shoot" while making a gesture with his hands.

That's when one officer fired four rounds and stuck Luminello in the right leg one time.

SEE ALSO: Car theft suspect shot by officers in Chester County after threatening to shoot, D.A.'s office says

After falling to the ground, investigators say Luminello got up and started to run toward officers, screaming obscenities and yelling for his gun.

"He shoved one of the officers in the chest and again gestured with both hands in a pointing motion as if he had a gun. Luminello walked back to the stolen car and opened the passenger door," said the Chester County District Attorney's Office in a news release.

An officer then deployed a taser which caused Luminello to collapse.

Luminello was treated for a gunshot wound and a fractured elbow. He was released from Paoli Hospital the same day.

He was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, theft, and related offenses.

"Luminello created a situation where the police officer had a reasonable belief that her life, and the life of another, were in danger of serious bodily injury or death, thereby justifying the use of deadly force according to 18 Pa. C.S.A. 508," the district attorney's office said.

No officers were injured in the incident.