Authorities have arrested a Pennsylvania man after he allegedly fired on police with an AK-47 a day after shooting at a store clerk who asked him to wear a face mask.
Adam Zaborowski, 35, opened fire on three local and state police officers when they pulled him over near his Slatington home the day after the store shooting, Pennsylvania state police said in a statement.
Lehigh County District Attorney Jim Martin told the Morning Call newspaper that Zaborowski was armed with an AK-47 and a handgun.
Zaborowski was shot at least twice and arrested. He’s expected to fully recover. An officer was left with bullet fragments in the arm.
The violence comes amid a spate of ugly confrontations involving Americans refusing to wear face masks to help stem the spread of COVID-19.
Zaborowski was “just not handling the pandemic well,” his attorney, John Waldron, explained Sunday to Lehigh Valley Live. “I know there’s been some stressors in his life — I don’t mean that as an excuse,” Waldron told The Morning Call.
“The fact that he got shot twice with non-life-threatening injures when he had an AK-47 and another handgun, Adam is very fortunate he ended up the way he did,” Waldron said.
The string of incidents began last Friday at a cigar shop in Bethlehem Township when a store clerk told Zaborowski to put on a mask. A witness in the store told WFZM-TV that Zaborowski whipped out what he claimed was a copy of an order from the governor saying he didn’t need to wear one. The state requires masks in public places, including stores.
As the clerk argued with Zaborowski, he allegedly grabbed a couple of cigars and walked out. When the clerk followed him to the parking lot, police reported that Zaborowski pulled out a semiautomatic handgun and shot once in the air and twice at the clerk, who escaped injury. Officials released video of the shooting, which can be seen above.
“It’s crazy, just crazy,” the store witness told WFZM. “It’s the mask. The guy was obviously anti-mask.”
Zaborowski has been charged with 22 crimes, including seven counts of attempted homicide, aggravated assault and robbery, and is being held on $1 million bail.
He is banned from possessing firearms in Pennsylvania because of a previous aggravated assault case, police said.
CORRECTION: This article previously misidentified one of the weapons as an “automatic.”