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Would-be Robber Fatally Shot with Accomplice’s Gun After Struggle with Intended Victim

ALLENTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA — An intended robbery went sideways quickly for 28 year old Juan Rivera of Lowell, Massachusetts shortly before 3:00 pm on a summer day. Rivera and his unidentified accomplice, both wearing face coverings and carrying handguns, approached a man working on the stereo system in his vehicle in the parking lot of an Allentown apartment complex.

Holding the vehicle owner at gunpoint, they demanded his property. Rivera left, entering the man’s apartment, and brandished his gun at the occupants. In his absence, his accomplice struck the vehicle owner in the head and pulled him from the car. They then got into a struggle, during which the accomplice dropped his gun. The intended victim picked it up and the accomplice ran away from the scene.

Rivera then left the apartment and confronted the owner a second time, leading to a shootout while they both sought cover behind parked cars in the lot. The intended victim was not hit, but did manage to wound Rivera with the accomplice’s gun. Rivera was dropped off at St. Luke’s Sacred Heart Hospital by two unidentified men in a silver Honda Odyssey, where he was pronounced dead.

The district attorney stated that the investigation by the Allentown Police Department and the Lehigh County Homicide Task Force included the review of video from the scene. The intended victim was not identified and will not face any charges, as it was determined that he acted in self-defense.

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