Man jailed for shooting into homes
A Schuylkill County man was jailed on Thursday, charged with multiple criminal counts incident to a shooting spree in Weatherly in which he fired a total of 26 shots into at least three homes. The incident occurred during the early morning hours of Feb. 12.
Borough police charged James M. Delbo, 32, of 1711 Walnut St., Ashland, with multiple counts of aggravated assault, and single counts of firearms not to be carried without a license, discharge of a firearm into an occupied structure, possessing an instrument of crime, recklessly endangering and carrying a loaded weapon. Most of the criminal counts are felonies.
Weatherly police took Delbo into custody at 133 Hancock St., McAdoo, on Thursday, where he was reportedly living but still carried the Ashland address.
Delbo was arraigned before District Judge Joseph D. Homanko, of Weatherly, and committed to the county prison in Nesquehoning in lieu of $250,000 cash bail. A preliminary hearing is tentatively set for March 9 at 10:30 a.m. before Homanko.
Officer Mike Bogart is the prosecutor in the case.
According to the affidavit of probable cause this is what happened:
On Sunday, Feb. 13, about 2:55 a.m. officers were called to the area of 327 Yeakle St. for a shooting. The investigation revealed that three houses, a garage, a vehicle and a utility pole were hit with rounds fired from a 9mm and .22-caliber firearms. The three houses struck were 319, 327 and 335 Yeakle St. The vehicle hit was parked in front of 319 Yeakle.
Police said the residents of 319 Yeakle were Tara and Steven Barnic, who said they were asleep at the time along with their children, two sons, ages 15 and two, and a 1-year-old daughter.
Police said 335 Yeakle was occupied by Charlaine and Thomas Powell, who were also asleep at the time of the shooting. The third home, 327 Yeakle, had no one home at the time of the incident. No one was hit by the shots, police said.
Through the course of the investigation police said they learned that Delbo had made threats on the lives of Matt Sipler and Alyssa A. Adams. He had resided with them along Yeakle Street but was asked to leave when he failed to pay rent. Police said his threats included that he would "get even" with them for evicting him from the residence.
Police noted that on June 27, 2010, they were called to 335 Yeakle for a man with a gun. That man was Delbo.
Police said on March 3 Andrew Ortiz, 23, of McAdoo, came to the Weatherly police station and informed officers that he was the driver of the car in which the shots were fired from on Feb. 12. He identified the shooter as Delbo.
He said on the morning of the incident he, Delbo and Christopher Harris were at Harris' home in McAdoo drinking alcohol. Ortiz said Harris went to bed and Delbo then asked him if he would "get his back" in a fight. Ortiz said they then drove to Weatherly with Delbo giving him directions on where to go.
When they got to Yeakle Street Delbo pulled out a gun and began firing out the window of the vehicle at the nearby homes. After that gun was emptied he pulled out a second gun and fired, Ortiz said. Ortiz said he didn't know anything about the guns prior to the shots being fired, he only beleived that they were going for a fight.
Harris later said Ortiz told police that Delbo took his 9mm and .22 caliber handguns without his permission the morning of the shooting.