1 Woman Dead, 5 Men Wounded in Shootout Outside Puerto Rican Club [Updated]

Bethlehem police are investigating the early morning shootings outside the Puerto Rican Beneficial Society in what has been described as a chaotic scene.

Story updated at 9:50 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2

A 23-year-old woman was killed and five men wounded following a shootout early Sunday outside the Puerto Rican Beneficial Society, Bethlehem police said.

The identity of the woman killed has not been released, pending notification of next of kin, but lehighvalleylive.com reported that a friend identified her as Yolanda Morales.

Her death has been ruled a homicide, according to the Lehigh County Coroner's Office.

On Sunday, there were candles, flowers and notes set up as a memorial at the shooting scene. "Yoli, my Baby Girl," read a note. "Ur gonna be missed. Dearly love you and Gonna miss u always and forever. Rest with the Angels." 

Multiple 911 calls about the shootings in the 200 block of E. Third Street on Bethlehem's South Side came into the Bethlehem 911 Center at 2:21 a.m., police said. A report on lehighvalleylive.com described a gun battle with at least 30 shots fired in a chaotic scene.

Audio of emergency transmissions, calling for ambulances, was made available on Lehigh Valley Bravest.

When police arrived, they found six people shot. All were taken by Bethlehem City paramedics to St. Luke’s University Hospital-Fountain Hill.

The woman died at the hospital, police said. She was pronounced dead at 2:49 a.m. in the hospital's emergency room. An autopy is scheduled for Monday.

The five men wounded were admitted to the hospital in serious to critical condition.

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli told The Morning Call that all of the people being looked at as potential suspects are currently hospitalized. The public should have "no concern whatsoever" that a gunman is at large, the DA told the newspaper.

Nester Video Production reported on its Facebook page that the crime scene in Bethlehem had stretched a city block. Police also were called to the emergency room at the hospital when a crowd there became unruly, the report said.

In a video posted by Nestor Video Production, Jeffery Noe said he witnessed the shootings unfold. He said a man walked out of the Puerto Rican club, and people who followed started hitting the man with a bat. Someone fired a warning shot, then another person started shooting at others. He said he heard about 30 shots in all. "Apparently everybody was friends...from what I gathered from the crowd," Noe said.

Check back with Patch for updates.

The investigation is ongoing.  

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Bethlehem police at 610-865-7187 and/or Det. Fabian Martinez at 610-997-7678 and/or confidentially at the Bethlehem Police Tip Line at 610-691-6660.

Tom Roberts December 03, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Line above says, "though there are "others" who would". Now, would those "others" be the same as "those people"? Hmmmm
Carl W December 03, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Banning street guns IS a sign of respect for the young lady. Shows I'm horrified and anger3ed that she (and others) have the rest of their lives stolen by guns. God bless her, and comfort those who were close to her. I'm sure they'd like to see such guns off the streets. (Personally, I'll pray for them, and would like to do anything I can to comfort them).
Carl W December 03, 2012 at 07:40 PM
"Ben," first, chill out. just because "I have read many articles of white rednecks who slept with their sisters, had sex with farm animals and burned down churches filled with people they didn't like, solely because of the color of those people's skin. Perhaps, "If they dont want to be disrepected they should learn how to act" too. (I'm white myself)." Thjat's wrong, so's this. Want both?????
Jeepers63 December 04, 2012 at 08:42 PM
Alcohol is the issue here, not what color skin you have or where your from or if your in a gang. Once a person consumes to much alcohol ya never know what can happen. You can not predict the near future of a drunk. Many deaths are alcohol related.
Kaos8 December 05, 2012 at 01:24 AM
Last I checked we all bleed red. I hope the people responsible are found and held accountable.


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