Two teens charged with targeting police in Lancaster County shooting incident

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COLUMBIA, Lancaster Co., Pa.-- The Lancaster County District Attorney's office announced charges Saturday, against two teenagers in connection with a shooting incident that happened early Friday morning.

Marquell Rentas, 17, and Trenton Nace, 18, both of Columbia, Lancaster County, are both being charged as adults with multiple counts of attempted homicide of law enforcement officers, aggravated assault, assault of law enforcement officers, and counts of conspiracy to commit each of these crimes. Rentas is also being charged with possession of a firearm by a minor.

According to court documents, Rentas and Nace are cousins.

A photo of Nace was provided to FOX43 News. Photos of Rentas are being withheld because he is a juvenile, even though he is being charged as an adult.

Authorities say while Rentas was being arrested Friday, he was heard screaming "I'm the one who did it. I'm the one who shot. My cousin didn't do it!"

He went on further to say, "I was shooting at you. F*** you police."

This type of behavior is disturbing to District Attorney Craig Stedman.

"A number of individuals, and Mr. Rentas in this case, are demonstrating that not just that they are emboldened to shoot at police officers, but they are justified and they feel righteous," he said.

Both of the teens were arraigned Saturday morning, with bail for each of them set at $2 million. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for August 12th.

Stedman said a total of four police officers were targeted during the shooting Friday morning on the 100-block of Bethel Street. That prompted the Lancaster County Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) to respond to the scene.

Stedman also stated during the press conference:

"We are extremely fortunate we did not lose any officers."
"The police are the thin blue line which stands between order and chaos and any attack on them is an attack on our entire way of life and community"

Shooting incident columbia

Photo Credit: @JenniferReadyTV

THE INCIDENT

Just before 3:30 a.m. Friday morning,  police officers were responding to a shots fired call along the 100 block of Bethel Street. As officers were arriving they were being fired upon.

Officers, from Columbia, East Hempfield and West Hempfield departments, say that their vehicles were being targeted.

Police set up a perimeter and established that the shots were coming from 103 Bethel Street.

Numerous police departments, along with Lancaster County Special Emergency Response Team (SERT), responded to the area.

After officers learned that 17-year old Marquell Rentas was staying at the Bethel Street home, and Rentas was named as the shooting suspect.

Police made entry into the home where Rentas was taken into custody in a second-floor bedroom. A scoped rifle was next to him.

Rentas' cousin, 18-year old Trenton Nace was also taken into custody in a separate second-floor bedroom. He had live rounds and shell casings in a pants pocket, police said.

In police interviews, Rentas admitted to firing shots from the upstairs bedroom window and that he "willfully" fired at police officers.

Nace admitted to handing Rentas live rifle rounds as he fired and to recovering the spent casings.

Columbia Police Detective Matthew Leddy filed charges with approval from the Assistant District Attorney.

No officers were injured and no officers returned fire in this incident.

 

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