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Downtown Lancaster business owners shocked by recent shooting

“It surprises me, absolutely," one owner said. "I don’t even know the last time there was a shooting.”

LANCASTER, Pa. — Investigators are working to piece together the events that led to the death of 19-year-old Damian Santiago during a shooting on Monday evening in Lancaster City.

The incident occurred after 10 p.m. Lancaster City Bureau of Police were dispatched to the A-Plus store located at 111 W. Orange Street, where they found Santiago suffering from a gunshot wound.

Santiago later succumbed to the injury.

Investigators say 21-year-old Carlos Almanzar-Torres turned himself in later Monday night and has been charged with one count of criminal homicide and two counts of recklessly endangering another person.

After an investigation, police discovered that Almanzar-Torres and Santiago knew each other before encountering each other in the convenience store.

The altercation has left many local businesses shocked by the display of violence.

Tracy Artus, owner of Miesse’s Candies on Water Street, went this morning to check up on the A-Plus employees who witnessed the fatal incident, and says this area of downtown is a tight-knit community.

“It surprises me, absolutely," she said. "I don’t even know the last time there was a shooting.

“We’re not open late at night, so I feel like we are in a different genre then what they are over there...but still they're our neighbors and we all stick together.”

 Artus, who lives in the downtown Lancaster area, says she and her staff just had a safety training two weeks ago. 

“We do have policies and procedures in place, but the most important thing is to just be aware of your surroundings," she said.

Around the corner at Pop & Perk on Prince Street, an employee named Rachel, who did not provide her last name, said she didn't hear the shooting despite living nearby.

Though the incident is surprising, she said, with everything going on in the world, tensions can run high.

“I definitely think it’s a little bit surprising, but its not ultimately shocking," she said. "I think there’s just a lot of stress in the world right now…it’s definitely not something you’d expect along Prince Street.”

Police say Almanzar-Torres was taken to Lancaster County Prison for arraignment, and he will now face charges.

Authorities say the investigation into the shooting is ongoing, and anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Lancaster City Police at 717-735-3412.

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