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Suspect in deadly shooting at West Manchester Township movie theater arrested

WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY — The suspect in Monday night’s deadly shooting at Regal Cinemas in West Manchester Township has been arrested...

WEST MANCHESTER TOWNSHIP, YORK COUNTY -- The suspect in Monday night's deadly shooting at Regal Cinemas in West Manchester Township has been arrested, court documents show.

Jalen Luis Bellaflores, 19, of the 100 block of Test Road in York, is charged with criminal homicide and conspiracy in the shooting, which occurred at about 10:15 p.m. Monday at the movie theater, located in the Town Center shopping plaza.

Andre White, 22, of Carlisle, was killed in the shooting. An autopsy performed Thursday in Lehigh County determined he died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the York County Coroner's Office.

"Do I think Regal Cinemas is dangerous place? Generally not, but it was that night, unfortunately," remarked Chief John Snyder of West Manchester Township Police. "There are some people who have cooperated, and some some a little less cooperative, but we've done everything we could with the information we got."

A female victim was also injured, sustaining a gunshot wound to the face, according to police. She is being treated at York Hospital.

"That is scary. It's a really close to home. It's a little disturbing," commented Christina Garcia of Conewago Township, York County.

West Manchester Township Police say there is a second suspect involved, but there is no word on the second suspect's identity.

According to the criminal complaint affidavit, police responded to the reported shooting at about 10:17 p.m. Dispatch told police a man was on the phone yelling that his girlfriend had been shot in the face, police say.

Officers responded and entered the theater, they found the female victim and the witness sitting in the back of the theater. The woman was conscious and able to speak, police say. She told police a second victim had been shot, too, and pointed them to a male victim later identified as White, who was lying motionless and unresponsive in the back row, suffering from a gunshot wound to the chest.

Based on witness accounts and surveillance footage, police outlined the sequence of events:

  • The suspects are seen arriving at the parking lot outside the theater together in a red 2016 Volkswagen Jetta, which police eventually determined was registered to Bellaflores.
  • The two suspects entered Theater No. 6 at Regal Cinemas, which was showing the movie "Queen and Slim," at about 10:06 p.m.
  • White arrived at the theater with a woman after the suspects. Police interviewed the woman after the incident, and learned that when they were entering the theater they met an acquaintance of White's outside the entrance. The acquaintance told White a specific person known to White was inside the theater, but the woman did not know the person the acquaintance was referring to.
  • According to witnesses, when White and his date entered the theater, they encountered the two suspects, and White and one of the suspects had a brief exchange of words.
  • White and his date then sat in the back row of the theater.
  • Witnesses say the two suspects had a brief conversation, then switched seats, moving closer to White and his date. Shortly after that, one of the suspects got up and walked toward an exit at the front of the theater, while the second suspect got up from his seat, walked toward the back row of the theater, and began firing at White.
  • Both suspects are then seen on surveillance footage fleeing from the theater at about 10:14 p.m.

"I had a nightmare that somebody in the movie theater was shooting people, and now, you're telling me that person did come to the back row," exclaimed Maureen Kubofcik of  West Manchester Township, York County.

Kubofcik says at her last job security was tight and that the entrance into the theater isn't very safe.

"I worked for the federal government for 42 years. I was a facilities specialist. You had to go through a metal detector," explained Kubofcik. "At that door, there is no security. They should have a security guard right there... when the movies are open."

It's the reason why Garcia says she will not be seeing any more movies.

"I'm pregnant so I wouldn't put myself in a situation where I could be in danger," said Garcia.

Police say the man who accompanied the female shooting victim said they were the first two people in the theater for the movie, and they sat in the back row. He witnessed the arrival of the suspects, and later observed White and his date arrive. He witnessed the brief exchange of words between White and the suspect, who eventually shot White.

The witness said he did not know what was happening at first when White was shot but heard the sound as it happened. He told police he saw the gun in the suspect's hand and saw "fire" coming from the barrel. He said the suspect fired as he walked toward White and as he continued toward the theater's back exit. It was at that point the female victim was struck by gunfire, the witness told police.

The witness said he rendered aid to the woman by pressing his coat against her wound and called 911.

Police say the witness gave them physical descriptions of both suspects, including the clothing they wore.

According to police, surveillance footage taken from a nearby Wal-mart store showed the two suspects were shopping there together prior to the shooting. They are seen exiting the red Volkswagen sedan and entering the store, where they made a purchase in cash, and then are seen getting back into the car and driving in the direction of the theater.

Police say they traced surveillance footage and credit card information taken from the purchase of tickets to the movie to Bellaflores and were able to obtain his home address. A check of all the vehicles registered to that address led them to Bellaflores' red Volkswagen.

A search warrant was obtained for the vehicle, where police say they discovered a dark green hooded sweatshirt, white Nike sneakers, and glasses identical to the items Bellaflores is seen wearing in surveillance footage at the theater and the Walmart store on the night of the shooting.

The debit/credit card Bellaflores used to purchase tickets to the movie, as well as the wallet he's seen in surveillance footage taking the card from, was also recovered, police say.

Investigators also found a black Chicago White Sox hat identical to the one several witnesses and surveillance footage said was worn by the other suspect in Bellaflores' car, police say.

The investigation is still ongoing, according to police.