Officer Involved Shooting
Robert Leonard Taylor
DEFENDANT: Robert Leonard Taylor (56 Years Old)
700 Franklin Street
Reading, Pennsylvania 19602
CHARGES: Aggravated Assault (4 Counts)
Terroristic Threats (2 Counts)
Recklessly Endangering Another Person (2 Counts)
Resisting Arrest or other Law Enforcement
Simple Assault (2 Counts)
Persons not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms
Firearms not to be carried without a license
Receiving Stolen Property
Possession of Schedule II Controlled Substance
DETAILS OF INCIDENT:
On Sunday, February 23, 2020, at approximately 5:39 P.M., the Berks County District Attorney’s Office as well as the Berks County Detective’s Office, were notified that a uniformed on-duty Reading Police Officer was involved in a shooting.
The Berks County Detective’s Office assumed the lead investigative role in this Officer Involved Shooting and the investigation yielded the following information:
On Sunday, February 23, 2020, at approximately 4:57 P.M., the Reading Police Department received a 911 call reporting a male with a gun threatening people, in the area of the 600 block of Greenwich Street, Reading, Berks County, Pennsylvania.
The Reading Police Department dispatched Officers to the area to investigate this complaint.
A Reading Police Officer, hereinafter referred to as Officer #1, who was in full uniform and operating a marked Reading Police vehicle, encountered a male fitting the description which had been broadcasted to the responding units. Officer #1 observed the suspect in the area of North 8th & Oley Streets. As he approached the suspect on foot, Officer #1 used verbal commands directing the suspect to stop. Due to the information that the suspect was armed with a gun, Officer #1 removed his departmental issued firearm from his holster and ordered the suspect to the ground. The suspect immediately fled on foot towards the 700 block of Lance Place.
This resulted in a foot pursuit and as Officer #1 was chasing the fleeing suspect, Officer #1 observed the suspect reaching into his waistband while running towards a parked SUV. The suspect took cover positioning himself at the rear passenger side of the SUV and turned towards Officer #1 with his gun drawn and pointed directly at Officer #1.
Officer #1, fearing for his safety, then discharged his firearm in the direction of the armed suspect. Officer #1 fired several rounds missing the suspect but striking the SUV.
Officer #1 heard what sounded like a gun hitting the ground, then observed the suspect with his hands raised. Officer #1 ordered the suspect to the ground and the suspect immediately fled west back towards North 8th Street where he was subsequently apprehended by other Reading Police Officers. The suspect continued to actively resist the Officers efforts as they were attempting to handcuff him.
Officer #1 observed a handgun on the ground underneath the parked SUV. He stated the handgun looked like the same gun the suspect displayed and pointed at him.
During the physical search of the suspect, the Reading Police Officers recovered several baggies of what appeared to be crack cocaine and methamphetamine. All evidence was eventually turned over to the Berks County Detective’s Office.
Further investigation revealed that the suspect’s handgun was reported stolen to the Western Berks Regional Police Department in August of 2019.
On Monday, February 24, 2020, the Berks County Detective’s Office filed criminal charges at Magisterial District Judge Kyley Scott’s Office against the defendant, Robert Leonard Taylor Jr., who is currently in the custody of the Berks County Sheriff’s Department.
Through the course of this investigation, the Berks County Detectives confirmed the defendant, Robert Leonard Taylor Jr., is currently under the supervision of the Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole. Due to his criminal history, he is prohibited from possessing any firearms.
Robert Leonard Taylor Jr. was arraigned and bail was set at $150,000. He remains in Berks County Jail awaiting further court action.
As in every criminal case, the fact that an arrest has occurred or a complaint has been filed is merely an accusation, and the defendant Robert Leonard Taylor Jr., is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.