Drug Operation Found In Basement Of New Castle Home, Police Say
NEW CASTLE, Pa. — Police said a New Castle homeowner who shot an intruder was himself charged — and not the intruder — after responding officers found a marijuana-growing operation in his basement.
WTAE Channel 4′s Ashlie Hardway reported that the shooting happened just before 6 p.m. Wednesday at an apartment on Quest Street.
”There was ambulance, cops, everywhere. This whole street was lined up with cops and everything,” neighbor David McLaren said.
Police said they arrived to find that Christopher Donofrio, 25, had been shot several times in the face and torso. He was flown to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio.
Police said it appeared that Donofrio broke a window to get into the home and went toward the resident, Bradley Walker, with a hatchet and folding knife, and was then shot by Walker.
”Violence doesn’t solve anything, you know? Over a couple hundred bucks — it’s ridiculous,” neighbor John Salomon said.
”I don’t blame him at all,” McLaren said. “I mean, I believe in self-defense.”
Officers were conducting a “protective sweep” of the home when they saw the drugs in the basement, according to a statement from Police Chief Tom Sansone’s office.
Thirty marijuana plants were seized with a search warrant, along with grow lights, four SKS-type rifles and ammunition, police said.
Walker, 41, was charged with manufacture of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, police said.
Police continue to investigate the shooting and have not filed any charges related to it.
Police said Walker and Donofrio “are known to each other” but did not elaborate.
A man who identified himself as Donofrio’s roommate told Hardway that the shooter is Donofrio’s landlord who lives next door, and neighbors said the landlord is experienced in martial arts.