Two Pennsylvania cousins—one with a lengthy juvenile rap sheet—are in jail after attempting to ambush and kill local police officers in what appears to be the latest chilling attack on law enforcement officers.
Two Columbia teenagers used a scoped sniper rifle in an attempt to gun down police officers in an early Friday morning shooting in the borough, officials said at a press conference Saturday.
“By the grace of God, we are not having a press conference today about multiple homicides, multiple deaths of police officers,” Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said Saturday in Columbia Borough Council chambers.
“The focus was to kill police officers,” he said. “The last couple of days in Lancaster County are some of the darkest days we’ve had in our justice system, for our police officers, that I can recall.”
Marquell Robert Rentas, 17, of 244 Walnut St., and Trenton Michael Nace, 18, of 116 Lancaster Ave., were arraigned Saturday morning on multiple charges of attempted homicide of a law-enforcement officer, aggravated assault, assault of a law-enforcement officer and counts of conspiracy to commit each of those crimes, Stedman said. Both teens were charged as adults.
“We have two young men who are charged with attempting to kill multiple police officers in the line of duty,” Stedman said. He called the attack “senseless, chilling.”
Rentas admitted shooting at officers during the arrest, according to the affidavit. He made it clear, Stedman said, that his intention was to kill police.
The teens were arraigned Saturday morning before District Judge Stuart Mylin. Bail was set at $2 million each.
If convicted on all first-degree felony counts, Stedman said, each suspect could serve life in prison.
The media has an annoying tendency to call any scoped hunting rifle a “sniper rifle” regardless of its designed function. In any event, we’re very fortunate that these two thugs—who apparently fired shots into the air to lure police to the area—are lousy shots, and didn’t wound any officers.
It is too soon to tell if this shooting is directly related to the rash of police ambush shootings spurred on by false media narratives concocted around the officer-involved shootings of Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, and Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Castile was a licensed concealed carrier who was pulled over for matching the description of an armed robbery suspect, and was shot by a Hispanic police officer while reaching towards is back pocket after reportedly telling the officer, “I have a gun.” Speculation is now that Castile may have been reaching for his wallet and permit, but due to what Castile said and the nature of the call, the officer may have perceived Castile as attempting to draw a weapon. Castile’s death became immediately high profile as his girlfriend streamed the immediate aftermath of the shooting to Facebook live in a video that has been seen millions of times. The investigation into the Castile shooting is on-going, and it is not known if charges will be filed in the case.
Sterling was reported to police in a 911 call for threatening a homeless man with a gun. Sterling refused to be taken into custody and two attempts to taser him into compliance failed. Officers then attempted to arrest him, and the 300+ lbs Sterling resisted. Two different people filmed cell-phone videos of two Baton Rouge officers attempting to take Sterling into custody. One of the videos had a much better angle of the struggle, and showed Sterling fighting to keep his right arm free. Sterling was warned to immediately comply when one of the officers detected the handle of a revolver protruding from his right front pants pocket during the struggle. Sterling responded by apparently attempting to buck off that officer and reaching towards the gun in his pocket at which point he was shot and killed.
Most major news outlets and Black Lives Matter activists immediately attempted to portray both shootings as unlawful killings of unarmed men by trigger-happy police officers with no possible justification or mitigating factors.
Since then, Black Lives Matter-aligned domestic terrorists have attempted to murder police officers in ambushes around the nation, with the greatest losses of life occurring in Dallas, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana ambushes.
This attempted assassination of Columbia, PA police is being largely ignored by a mainstream media attempting to dodge responsibility for the officers they’ve put at risk by crafting anti-police narratives ever since the fiction of “hands up, don’t shoot” they generated when Ferguson, Missouri attempted cop-killer Michael Brown was shot to death attempting to kill officer Darren Wilson.