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Police charge 3 with evidence tampering in Lancaster shooting

Police have charged three men following a Thursday morning shooting in Lancaster. 

Jose Acosta, 18; Elvis Salcedo, 19; and Jared Ruperto, 20, all of Lancaster, are facing evidence tampering charges and more after police searched a home the three were seen leaving Thursday afternoon. The three had not been directly charged with the shooting, however, as of Friday afternoon. 

The victim, who walked into Lancaster General Hospital with a gunshot wound to the jaw, told police he was shot in the area of Reservoir Park in the 700 block of East King Street. The man’s injuries are not believed to be life threatening, police said. 

Detectives checked the area, but were unable to find evidence of a shooting. No reports of shots fired or suspicious activity had been reported before the man showed up at the hospital, either, police said. Investigators believe the victim gave them false information about the shooting. 

Police said they found Acosta, Saucedo and Ruperto while investigating the incident in the 500 block of West Orange Street at about 1:45 p.m.

Police said they found blood on the sidewalk and steps leading up to the home they were investigating.

While attempting to contact the occupants of the residence, police said they saw Acosta, Salcedo and Ruperto exit the home from a dormer window onto the roof.

Officers saw the three men toss items from the home to a neighboring yard, police said. Believing the evidence was being tampered with, police entered the home and found the three inside.

Officers obtained a search warrant and investigators determined the shooting occurred inside the home, police said. 

While collecting evidence, police said they found a small amount of heroin and marijuana, drug paraphernalia, bullet shell casings and other evidence related to the shooting. Police did not find the gun used to shoot the victim, however. 

The three have been charged with one count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence and one count of criminal conspiracy to commit tampering with or fabricating physical evidence.

Acosta also was charged with one count of possession of a small amount of marijuana and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. 

Alcedo is facing one count of possession of heroin, in addition to the other charges. 

The three were interviewed, processed and released pending a summons.  

Police said the investigation has been hampered by misleading information, including information provided by the victim, as to what happened and where the incident occurred.  

An investigation continues.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Lancaster City Police at 717-735-3300 or Lancaster City-County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-322-1913. Tips also can be shared via the Lancaster police website, or text information to Crime Stoppers by texting LANCS plus your message to 847411. Tipsters can remain anonymous, police said. 

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