Musikfest shooter caught
Currently incarcerated in a state jail on unrelated charges, Joshua Nathaniel Colon, of Bethlehem, now faces multiple new charges related to the shooting Aug. 13, 2022 at Plaza Tropical during Musikfest, Lehigh County District Attorney Gavin P. Holihan announced Jan. 17.
Colon is charged with alleged aggravated assault, a felony of the first degree; receiving stolen property, a felony of the second degree; firearms not to be carried without a license, a felony of the third degree; person not to possess, use, manufacture, control, sell or transfer firearms, a misdemeanor of the first degree and recklessly endangering another person, a misdemeanor of the second degree.
The case against Colon was presented to Lehigh County’s 12th Investigating grand jury, which heard testimony by Chief Deputy District Attorney Bethany S. Zampogna and Deputy District Attorney Nicolo S. Baratta.
The presentment was approved by The Honorable Anna-Kristie Marks, supervising judge of the grand jury. With the presentment sealed by Marks, Holihan was limited in what could be discussed in the case against Colon.
Holihan told reporters the investigation confirmed conflict between two groups, which he referred to as “gangs.
“The two groups were known to each other and hostile to each other. And this was not a random act. The investigation revealed it was a deliberate act between two groups that were known to each other and therefore not a general risk to the public at Musikfest at that time,” Holihan explained.
The victim of the shooting, Jathaniel Lopez, was shot once to the stomach and police on the scene provided him help immediately. “I’m not prepared to answer,” Holihan said, on whether Colon and Lopez knew each other. He did confirm Lopez received significant injuries.
Holihan praised the work of all those involved in the 18-month investigation, led by Bethlehem City Police Detective John Limpar.
“This has been an ongoing investigation. Like in a lot of investigations, sometimes people are cooperative, sometimes they are not. The prosecution team needs to use different tools to get at different evidence. In this case, that’s what happened,” Holihan said.
When asked by The Press on whether any anonymous tips had been received, Holihan answered “those are things I can’t release to you.”
As for whether anyone had willingly provided Bethlehem City Police with videos of the scene as events unfolded, Holihan told The Press, “We all know that there was video available publicly at the time so those were clearly used in the investigation, so yes. The answer to that is yes.”
Holihan stressed despite the shooting, police presence and security measures with both Lehigh and Northampton counties provided a safe 10-day festival, with an attendance of over 1 million people. Most arrests were alcohol related.
Holihan made it clear safety is the top priority for all first responders and organizers of this popular musical festival.