DA: Man accused of firing at police arraigned

Bail for 32-year-old set at $2 million; he has not left hospital yet

Andre E. "Needles" Fiorentino faces attempted murder charges.

Andre E. “Needles” Fiorentino faces attempted murder charges for allegedly shooting at two Coatesville police officers on Saturday.

The 32-year-old Coatesville man accused of shooting at two city police officers on Saturday, Nov. 23, has been arrested and arraigned, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said Monday evening.

Hogan said Andre E. “Needles” Fiorentino, 32, a convicted felon who allegedly fired two shots at uniformed Coatesville police officers in the 700 block of Merchant Street about 1 a.m., remains at Paoli Hospital, where he has been listed in stable condition. Fiorentino was hit multiple times after the officers, who were not hit, returned fire,  Hogan said.

Bail was set at $2 million, and Fiorentino will be transported directly to Chester County Prison when he is released from the hospital, Hogan said, adding that Assistant District Attorney Carlos Barraza has been assigned to the case. The charges against Fiorentino included attempted first-degree murder, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a person prohibited, and related offenses, court records said.

Hogan said the investigation into the shooting by Chester County Detectives, which included interviews with the two officers involved, the officers who responded to the scene, the emergency personnel, and citizens in the area of the shooting, resulted in a determination that the shooting by the police was justified.

Hogan provided this account: At 1 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23, two Coatesville police officers were on patrol in full uniform in a marked police vehicle the 700 block of Merchant Street, a high-crime and high-drug area. The officers observed Fiorentino looking into the windows of cars parked in the area, approached him, and asked him for identification. Fiorentino declined and started reaching into the front waist area of his pants, as if reaching for a gun.  The front officer pulled his Taser and ordered Fiorentino to stop; instead, Fiorentino pulled out a gun and fired two shots at the officers, Hogan said.

Both officers returned fire.  Fiorentino was struck multiple times and fell to the ground, dropping his gun.  As the officers approached him, he reached for his weapon and yelled epithets before officers moved the firearm out of his reach. Emergency medical personnel  then transported him to Paoli Hospital, Hogan said..

The gun used by the defendant to shoot at the two officers – a  .38-caliber, five-shot revolver – was recovered on the street; it contained two spent shell casings, two live shell casings, and one shell casing that had been struck by the firing pin but did not discharge, Hogan said.  The revolver had been stolen a year ago Johnstown, Pa., he said. On the way to the hospital, a second gun was recovered from Fiorentino’s clothing inside the ambulance.  The second gun was a .40-caliber, semi-automatic handgun with a live round in the chamber and an obliterated serial number, Hogan said.

Hogan said the two officers involved in the shooting are both military veterans.  One officer served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps and 16 years with the Pennsylvania State Police before his employment with the Coatesville Police Department.  The second officer served 14 years in the U.S. Marine Corps, including four combat tours, prior to working for the Coatesville Police Department.  Hogan said under normal security procedures, the officers’ names would not be released at this time.



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One Comment

  1. Michael says:

    This clown should be a candidate for the Death Penalty. No need for another stay at one of the SCI’s. Take him to trial and after he is officially found guilty, walk him to the electric chair.

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