Police: Glenville man shot in robbery
The Evening Sun
Jason Mallow, 27, died after being shot by the owner of a Berks County business who said Mallow was trying to rob him at knifepoint. (Submitted photo)
By SHARI SANGER
Evening Sun Reporter
A Glenville man was shot and killed by the owner of a Berks County business he allegedly tried to rob at knifepoint Friday, police said.
Jason Mallow, 27, died after a bullet passed through his back and exited his chest, Berks County Coroner Dennis J. Hess said. His death has been ruled a homicide.
A police officer was flagged down about 12:20 p.m. Friday at 12th and Green streets in Reading, and was told a store robbery had just occurred and that the alleged robber had been shot, Reading Police Sgt. Eric Hartman said.
Police allege Mallow entered Gregory's Market, displayed a knife as he approached the counter and demanded money from the store register. The drawer was opened and Mallow allegedly removed cash.
At that time, police said, the store owner - Gregorio Zarzuela, 58 - produced a gun and shot Mallow, who died outside the store.
Hartman said the daytime shooting and robbery occurred in the northeast section of Reading, a mostly residential area.
Police are still investigating.
Though Mallow's death has been ruled a homicide, the district attorney will determine whether the store owner will be charged in his death, Hartman said.
Mallow is the son of Thomas I. Mallow of Glenville and Darlene J. (Collins) Mallow of New Freedom. His sister, Melissa Mallow, also lives in Glenville.
Attempts to reach the family were unsuccessful.
A funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at Hartenstein Mortuary Inc., New Freedom, with a viewing one hour prior. Burial will be at 2:30 p.m. in Crumpton Cemetery in Crumpton, Md.
Hector Carillo, the head of the Hispanic Merchants Association, said Zarzuela told him Mallow took a couple of swings with the knife, according to the Allentown-based WFMZ-69 News. Zarzuela pulled his weapon and shot when his wife was out of the line of fire, based on Carillo's account.
The Reading Eagle initially reported that Zarzuela fired the shot outside the market, after he chased the robber out the front door. But subsequent TV news accounts say police didn't know if the shot was fired inside or outside the store.
Carillo said it doesn't matter whether Mallow was shot inside or outside the building.
"Even if the guy was shot out here," Carillo told WFMZ, "he attempted against his wife and him, with that knife, that automatically tells me I got to defend myself."