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Shots fired in city

No injuries reported; investigation ongoing

Altoona City Police officers and detectives conduct interviews at Fifth Avenue and 10th Street, the reported scene of gunshots being fired. Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski

Altoona police are investigating a shooting at 4:18 p.m. Wednesday at the intersection of 10th Street and Fifth Avenue.

“Upon initial investigation, officers and detectives discovered that two individuals on bicycles had engaged in a verbal altercation with a male in a parked vehicle,” city police said in a statement. “One of the individuals on a bicycle produced a handgun, firing three shots at the male victim in the vehicle. The shooter fled on foot eastbound on Fifth Avenue, leaving his bicycle behind,” the statement read.

“The other individual rode his bicycle northbound on 10th Street. A blue Trek Mountain Bike was recovered at the scene, along with three 9mm shell casings,” police said in the release.

After the initial response, police wearing body armor and armed with rifles surrounded a red, brick apartment complex near the Eighth Street overpass.

A few blocks away, police cordoned off the 10th Street and Fifth Avenue intersection, where initial reports said three shots were fired that might have involved a red, Chevrolet Impala and children on bicycles. At least three shell casings were found near the intersection.

Altoona City Police officers and detectives conduct interviews at Fifth Avenue and 10th Street, where reports said gunshots were fired. Anyone with information is asked to call the Altoona Police Department at 814-949-2490 or send a private message to the department’s Facebook page. Mirror photo by Patrick Waksmunski

As word spread about the shots fired, Penn-Lincoln Elementary School was placed on lockdown because of the nearby incident on the recommendation of the Altoona Police Department and Altoona Area School District Police Services, according to the district’s Community Relations Director, Paula Foreman.

All Altoona Junior High School athletes practicing on the Roosevelt Field were moved inside the junior high school building, which also was placed in a temporary lockdown.

The lockdowns lasted 25 to 30 minutes, Foreman said. After city police and district police services determined that there was no longer a threat in the area, both lockdowns were lifted and students resumed regular activities and practices.

About 4:30 p.m., the Pennsylvania State Police, Logan Township Police and Altoona police officers sectioned off multiple blocks near the intersection of Ninth Avenue and Eight Street and took up defensive positions surrounding the apartment building.

A man was eventually led out of the building by police and placed in handcuffs, but after about 15 minutes, police let the man go. Officers also carried a child out of the building.

An Altoona Police Department spokesman said no injuries were reported as a result of the incident.

Altoona police have asked the public to view two surveillance videos that are posted to the department’s website to help identify the actors.

Anyone who can positively identify either individual is asked to call the Altoona Police Department at 814-949-2490 or send a private message to the department’s Facebook page.

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