An assault suspect shot himself in the head with a rifle during a standoff with Bethlehem police at the intersection E. Fourth and Hayes Streets in the SouthSide this morning, according to a police news release.
The standoff came shortly after the man attacked another with a machete a few blocks east at 2 Trone St., police said.
The machete-wielding gunman, who was not identified, was taken to St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill and is in critical condition.
The victim of the machete assault, who also was not identified, suffered neck wounds, has undergone surgery and is listed in serious condition at St. Luke’s, police said.
A city police officer was injured during the incident, but not by the suspect. He was also taken to St. Luke’s and was treated and released, police said.
Initial Breaking News Network alerts indicated that a police officer had been shot. Later, the alert said that a robbery suspect at E. Third and Hayes streets.
Bethlehem police responded to the scene after receiving multiple 911 calls about the machete-wielding man in the Trone Street area.
When police arrived, they spotted the suspect, carrying the rifle, and running along side streets and through yards to flee, police said.
When officers stopped him at E. Fourth and Hayes streets, the suspect pointed the rifle at his own head.
“Officers repeatedly requested him to put down the loaded rifle,” said the news release from Det. Lt. Mark DiLuzio. But the suspect fired with the rifle pointed at his head, police said.
The incident is under investigation, DiLuzio said.