Miller Killed, Second Trooper Wounded In Gun Battle In Monoroe County
HARRISBURG – Governor Edward G. Rendell offered his condolences to the family and friends of Pennsylvania State Tpr. Joshua D. Miller, 34, who di as the result of a wound suffered in a gun battle June 7 following a 40-mile vehicle pursuit in northeastern Pennsylvania.
“Tpr. Miller died carrying out his sworn duty to protect the citizens of the commonwealth,” Rendell said. “Midge and I join with all residents of Pennsylvania in extending our deepest sympathies to Tpr. Miller’s wife, Angela, and his three children.”
Rendell also expressed his concern for Tpr. Robert J. Lombardo, 35, who was wounded during the incident. Lombardo is a patient at Community Medical Center in Scranton, where he was listed Monday in satisfactory condition. Both Miller and Lombardo were assigned to Troop N in Swiftwater, Monroe County.
“The death of Tpr. Miller and the wounding of Tpr. Lombardo remind us all once again of the dangers that our law enforcement officers face each day,” Rendell said.
Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner Frank E. Pawlowski said the incident began when police officers in Nazareth, Northampton County, responded to a reported Protection from Abuse order violation in which a man drove from the scene with his 9-year-old son.
The suspect led municipal and state police on a 40-mile pursuit through Northampton and Monroe counties before the fleeing vehicle was brought to a stop in Coolbaugh Township, Monroe County. As troopers approached the car, shots were exchanged, with bullets hitting Miller, Lombardo and the suspect, Pawlowski said. The suspect was killed and his son was taken safely from the car.
Pawlowski said the incident remains under investigation.
“Upon graduation from the State Police Academy, each trooper promises to lay down his or her life, rather than to swerve from the path of duty,” Pawlowski said. “Tprs. Miller and Lombardo did not swerve from the path of duty.”
Noting that Miller would have celebrated his 35th birthday on June 13, Pawlowski said, “Tpr. Miller’s death is a tremendous loss for the department. His actions will never be forgotten.”
Miller graduated from the State Police Academy in April 2003 and was assigned to Troop M, Bethlehem, Northampton County. He later transferred to Troop N, Swiftwater. His widow, Angela M. Miller, works for state police as a police communications operator at Troop P, Wyoming, Luzerne County.
Lombardo graduated from the State Police Academy in April 2004.
Funeral services for Tpr. Miller are pending.
At the direction of Rendell, all Pennsylvania flags on state facilities and throughout the commonwealth should be lowered to half staff in memory of Tpr. Miller. Flags should remain at half staff through Friday, June 12.