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

Investigators say the suspect crashed into a stopped police car head-on, and an officer narrowly avoided being hit.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023
DA: Car theft suspect shot by officers after threatening to shoot
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) -- A suspected car thief was shot by police on Wednesday morning in Caln Twp., Pa. after he allegedly threatened to shoot officers following a series of events involving a vehicle theft and a crash.

Police identified the suspect as 56-year-old Richard Luminello. He was already wanted on a parole violation.

Luminello is charged with attempted criminal homicide of a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault, vehicle theft and numerous other offenses.

It all began shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday when police received information that a stolen vehicle was located at a Wawa in Downingtown.

Police say the suspect who stole that car then stole another car parked at the Wawa.

The Chester County District Attorney's office says officers from the Caln Twp. Police Department tried to stop the driver, but he fled into a residential neighborhood.

An officer stopped at the intersection of Westerham and Shelburne roads in Caln Twp., intending to deploy stop strips.

However, as that officer was getting the stop strips from his vehicle, the D.A.'s office says Luminello crashed into the police car head-on. The police car was pushed backward into a house about 40 yards away.

The officer was standing behind the car at the time but managed to jump out of the way.

Authorities are investigating after a man was shot by police on Wednesday morning in Caln Twp., Pa.

Neighbors heard it all.

"She's like, did you hear all that screeching? It sounded like a car being dragged or a [train] derailment," said Anna Shieler.

The suspect's vehicle came to a stop about 50 yards away, the D.A.'s office said. Police say Luminello got out of the stolen vehicle and began walking away from officers as they approached.

As the officer got within 15 feet of Luminello, the D.A.'s office said he raised his clutched-together hands while pointing at the officers saying "I'll shoot."

One of the officers opened fire four times, and Luminello was shot in the right leg.

Luminello fell to the ground but got up and, the D.A.'s office said, motioned as if he was looking for a gun.

The officers realized he wasn't holding a firearm, and the D.A.'s office said the officers "attempted to de-escalate the situation."

By this point, police say Luminello had made his way to the passenger door of the stolen car and opened it.

"One of the officers deployed a taser and brought the suspect under control and he was handcuffed," the D.A.'s office said in a news release.

Luminello was taken to the hospital to be treated for the gunshot wound and a broken elbow.

Action News was there as he was later taken to the police station. He had nothing to say when we asked him about the accusations.