'They're Still Shooting!': Pa. Police Radios Capture Harrowing Chase, Gunfight

June 11, 2024
A chase and shootout between a 22-year-old man and Harrisburg and Capitol police left a K-9 wounded and the suspect dead. Dauphin County dispatch captured the frantic incident.

Sudden panic erupted on police radios in Dauphin County early Sunday as gunshots were fired in downtown Harrisburg, a block away from the state Capitol.

“There’s two down here by Nyree’s. I got one running,” the officer told Dauphin County dispatchers about 12:50 a.m. Sunday. “More shots fired.”

Nyree’s was a restaurant and bar formerly located in a now abandoned building at North Second and South streets that is covered with graffiti.

The officer’s comments were recorded on Dauphin County dispatch logs, which are available online, and provided additional details about the incident that ended in a shooting early Sunday that killed Kendrell Hall, 22, after police say he shot at officers. Hall was wearing a ski mask and carrying a gun when he was killed, according to the district attorney.

District Attorney Fran Chardo said officers started chasing Hall after they suspected he was involved in a shots-fired incident downtown near crowded bars and restaurants.

The officer who reported the initial gunshots told dispatchers they saw a male fleeing the area wearing a mask, a blue hooded sweatshirt and dark-colored pants, police said, according to dispatch records.

“He’s going up Pine [Street]. Get out of the way! Move!” the officer yelled, seemingly at bystanders, while chasing the suspected shooters. The officer eventually lost sight of the suspect.

Based on the description provided, Capitol police checked their surveillance cameras for a possible match.

One officer said they saw the male walking north in the area of Third and State streets around 12:55 a.m. They asked for another officer to provide backup before they tried to approach him, according to dispatch.

“More shots fired toward Third Street. They’re still shooting!” an officer yelled over the radio less than two minutes later.

“Suspect down. Suspect down,” police reported seconds later.

Audio that captures part of the chase and shooting can be found at the bottom of this article. The recording captures comments from some of the many officers involved in the incident, but not all.

District Attorney Fran Chardo said the “suspect” was later identified as Hall. Hall was wearing a mask and shooting a pistol over his shoulder as he ran from police from the area of Third and State streets to the 200 block of South Street, according to Chardo.

Officers chased him down Susquehanna Street and across South Street, where they all ended up in a small parking area behind the historic Pine Street Presbyterian Church and behind some homes.

As Hall hit a dead end, he turned and continued to shoot at police, who returned fire and fatally wounded him around 1 a.m., according to Chardo and dispatch records.

Hall was pronounced dead at the scene. The two officers who fired their guns were identified as an officer who worked for Capitol Police, with a police dog, and one who worked for city police.

On Monday, shards of yellow crime scene tape were still tied to a heater and fire pit on the left side of the entrance to a dead-end alley between two connected row homes. A glass window on the first-floor of a home was broken on the other side of the alley, and police had removed a section of wood framing from a second-story window where they pulled out a bullet, according to a man who worked next door. He said investigators had pulled a bullet out of the broken window sill earlier.

During the exchange of gunfire, a bullet entered a Capitol police K9′s pelvic area, Chardo said. After getting shot, the dog ran away but was later found. The dog received medical care and is expected to recover.

Before the chase that led to the fatal shooting, police told dispatchers there was a second shooter — a male in all black — seen fleeing north on Second Street from South Street. That suspect got away. Chardo said on Monday that police are still investigating the shooting that preceded Hall’s death and have not made any arrests. No one was reported injured in the initial shooting that first drew officers’ attention.

Preliminary findings show the officers’ use of force was necessary, but a final determination will be made at the end of the Dauphin County Criminal Investigation Division’s investigation, Chardo said. County detectives are handling the investigation even though it is in Harrisburg’s jurisdiction because a Harrisburg officer was involved in the shooting.

The Harrisburg police officer is on desk duty while the use of force investigation unfolds, Chardo said. A Capitol police spokesman was not immediately available Monday to answer questions, including whether their officer is on also administrative duty during the investigation.

Staff writer Christine Vendel contributed to this report.

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