A Pennsylvania man has been detained after shooting at a store employee for refusing to wear a mask. Adding insult to injury, police say that he shot at them with an AK-47 during a traffic stop the very next day.
On Friday, July 31st, 35-year-old Adam Zaborowski of Slatington, PA, entered Cigars International in Bethlehem Township at 11:23 a.m. The man was not wearing a mask, which is a store requirement as mandated by the governor. Employees informed him that all customers must wear masks in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Staff then made an effort to accommodate the man in a safer manner, saying that if Zaborowski was not comfortable wearing a face covering, they would serve him curbside. This only infuriated Zaborowski, who proceeded to grab two cigars from a shelf and leave the store without paying. Once confronted by an employee outside of the store, Zaborowski retrieved a semiautomatic handgun and fired once into the air and twice at the employee. Luckily no one was injured.
The very next day, at 9:35 a.m., a Slatington police officer and two Pennsylvania state troopers performed what they thought to be a routine traffic stop of Zaborowski’s vehicle. However, authorities claim that once stopped, Zaborowski jumped out of the vehicle and began shooting at them with an AK-47, striking a Slatington police car.
“Both the Slatington Borough officer and troopers returned fire and struck Zaborowski,” State Trooper Nathan Branosky said. Zaborowski was flown to a hospital for buttocks and leg gunshot injuries. One Slatington police officer suffered a minor injury while none of the troopers were hurt.
Zaborowski was charged with attempted murder, aggravated assault, robbery, and reckless endangerment. “Due to prior offenses, he was also charged with persons prohibited to possess a firearm,” police said. In total, he faces 22 charges related to the Slatington incident, including attempted homicide, aggravated assault, and robbery, his attorney, John Waldron, confirmed on Monday.
In an effort to garner sympathy for his client, Waldron stated that the reason for his actions was simply too much stress after the loss of his job due to the pandemic and losing custody of his child.
“Not a defense or excuse, but he had stressors going on in his life. A lot of people have stress, and some handle it better than others.”
Zaborowski is being held on $1 million bond.