Lansford officer dead
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Police officers stand on Broadway in Jim Thorpe near the scene where a Lansford part-time police officer was shot and killed last evening. Police said they don't know if David Midas died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound or if he was shot by another police officer. The investigation is being handled by state police from Lehighton barracks.
The chief deputy of the Carbon County Sheriff's office, and who is also a part-time police officer in Lansford, is dead, apparently from a gunshot wound.
David Midas of Weatherly was pronounced dead last night at the Lehighton Campus of Blue Mountain Health System, according to police.
The shooting occurred from a bizarre incident that apparently started in Lansford and culminated on Broadway in Jim Thorpe.
Police said Midas was involved in a scuffle with another police officer, Chris Ondrus, but it wasn't known if Midas was shot by his own gun or the gun of another police officer.
The investigation into the details is continuing.
The incident happened at about 7:40 p.m. and resulted in the response of police officers throughout Carbon County.
A brief press gathering was held at the scene by Jim Thorpe Chief of Police Joseph Schatz, Jim Thorpe Police Detective Lee Marzen, and Lansford Police Detective Jack Soberick.
Few details were released at press time. Schatz said the investigation has been turned over to State Police at Lehighton barracks.
State police didn't expect to have a press release available until this morning.
The TIMES NEWS has confirmed from several reliable sources that the deceased is Midas and the other officer involved is Ondrus. Police at the scene were visibly upset that some media sources had the wrong information on their websites.
Soberick confirmed that the incident started in Lansford and involved two Lansford police officers.
He disputed that any theft of weapons occurred at the Lansford Police station, as was originally reported by media. However, a police cruiser was taken during the incident and driven to Jim Thorpe.
According to reports, the incident began with Midas and Ondrus at a residence in Lansford. Somehow the incident continued to Jim Thorpe where the two officers got into a physical confrontation.
It was not clear what the dispute was about, but one man who wouldn't identify himself said he was at an eatery in Jim Thorpe and heard a single gun shot.
He said within minutes numerous police cruisers came upon the scene.
Police officers responded from Jim Thorpe, Lehighton, Lansford, Mahoning Township, Nesquehoning, Weatherly, and the Lehighton state police barracks.
The incident happened between Dugan's Store and the Dimmick Memorial Library.
When the incident occurred, a Jim Thorpe police officer who was first at the scene radioed that there was a suicidal incident occurring.
He requested immediate assistance.
Within minutes the situation came to a halt.
A call was made for a medical helicopter, but Midas was instead transported by ambulance to the Lehighton hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A member of Lansford Borough Council was at the scene in Jim Thorpe.
Local police said all future information will be provided through the state police.
Midas, although full-time in the sheriff's department, worked as a part-time police officer in several communities, including Lansford and Summit Hill.
He had indicated to the media his intentions of running for the office of Carbon County Sheriff next election in 2015.