Police arrest convicted felon for shooting on Park Avenue

For the second time in as many days, gunfire erupted in a city neighborhood late Tuesday night.

This time it was in the 1400 block of Park Avenue, where a 27-year-old convicted felon fired two to three shots at his ex-girlfriend as she fled from him in her van, said city police Agent Raymond O. Kontz III.

The woman was not injured, but bullets allegedly fired by Darnell Robert Mitchell about 11 p.m. struck her vehicle twice, “including one round just behind the driver’s door,” Kontz said in an affidavit.

“Darnell was shooting at me. He tried to kill me,” Shondra J. Major told police officers who rushed to the area to investigate a report of “multiple gunshots being fired,” Kontz said.

The problem started after Mitchell and Major argued earlier because of Mitchell’s failure to return Major’s van to her, Kontz said.

Major later located her van outside Mitchell’s apartment at 845 Park Ave., Kontz said. Major got in the vehicle and drove it to her home about six blocks away. She apparently took with her a key to a second vehicle that Mitchell wanted. He became irate when she would not return it to him, according to investigators.

“Major began receiving several phone calls and text messages allegedly from Mitchell, telling her that if she didn’t give him back his key, ‘Things were going to go crazy,’ ” according to Kontz.

Major hung up on Mitchell and then went outside to have a cigarette on her porch, investigators were told.

“While on the porch, Major saw Mitchell standing under a street light at the corner of Cemetery Street and Park Avenue. She got scared and ran to her car,” Kontz said.

“After she started the vehicle and began to pull away, Major looked in her rear view mirror and saw Mitchell running in the middle of the street toward her. Major then heard gunshots. She heard bullets hitting the van as she drove away,” Kontz said.

“Officers recovered several bullet casings in the street, where Mitchell was seen running toward the van,” Kontz said. He declined to say if a weapon ever was recovered.

Within hours after the shooting, Kontz filed a warrant for Mitchell’s arrest, charging him with attempted homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault, recklessly endangering, propulsion of missiles into an occupied vehicle, possession of an instrument of crime and convicted felon not to possess a firearm.

On state parole, Mitchell surrendered to authorities about 10 a.m. Wednesday and was arraigned before District Judge James Carn. He was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $225,000 bail.

Tuesday night’s shooting occurred one day after a man was shot in the right thigh on the property of the Timberland Apartments outside Apartment Building 9 in the 500 block of Lycoming Street about 5:10 p.m. Monday, police said.

No arrest has been made in that case, and the victim was expected to make a full recovery, police said.