UPDATE: ARREST MADE
Northampton County District Attorney
JANUARY 5, 2023
Today, District Attorney Terry Houck announces the arrest of 37-year-old Jonathan Cornelius, of Nazareth, in regard to the shooting in Palmer Township on Dec. 31, 2022.
Cornelius is facing charges of Aggravated Assault, Discharge of a Firearm into an Occupied Structure, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and related charges.
Police responded to a call of shots fired in the 2500 block of Eldridge Avenue around 1:30 p.m. Dec. 31, 2022.
Upon arrival, police spoke with the owner of the residence who said he was home when he heard what he thought to be gunshots outside his residence. He further told police he found several holes in the walls and ceiling inside his residence that were not there prior to hearing the gunshots. In addition, he found what appeared to be two bullet holes on the outside of his residence on the side that faces Old Nazareth Road. An entrance bullet hole was located on the wall of the first-floor laundry room, and a bullet was found on the floor next to a laundry basket. Police collected the bullet as evidence.
During a review of exterior surveillance video from a nearby residence, four gunshots were clearly heard and seconds later police observed a maroon Subaru station wagon coming from the area of the victims’ residence, traveling south on Old Nazareth Road at a high speed at 1:22 p.m.
Through investigation, police learned 11 people were in the house at the time of the shooting, one of them a 4-year-old child. When speaking with the homeowners, a husband and wife, police learned the wife had a brother and the two grew up in the Palmer Township residence. Police further learned the brother had a former childhood friend, defendant Jonathan Cornelius, who the wife thought may have been involved. Police then spoke with the brother, who related to police Cornelius’ demeanor became concerning about a year and a half ago via phone call and text communications between the two. When he and Cornelius were younger, he kicked Cornelius out of their band but the two maintained a cordial relationship.
Further investigation revealed the maroon Subaru was registered to a John Cornelius, the father of the defendant, in the 100 block of S. Convent Avenue in Nazareth. Police obtained and executed search warrants for both the vehicle and the residence and seized five spent 9mm shell casings from the rear seat and cargo area of the Subaru, in addition to a 9mm handgun belonging to Jonathan Cornelius from the basement of the residence. Police spoke with the father of the defendant, who told police only he and the defendant have keys to the Subaru. He stated he hasn’t driven the vehicle in several months and that his son has been driving the vehicle for the last two months.
“This senseless, open violence will not be tolerated in our Northampton County communities. We will not stand for such cowardly acts of violence. Rest assured we will prosecute anyone who commits these reckless crimes to the fullest extent of the law.
Thank you to the Palmer Township Police Department for their swift and decisive actions. Their around the clock dedication to solving this crime displays the professionalism of the department and its officers.” District Attorney Houck said.
Cornelius was arraigned Thursday evening by MDJ Hawke. He was denied bail.
As in every criminal case, the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.
2500 Block of Eldridge Avenue
Homeowners contacted police reporting multiple gunshots at this residence with two rounds entering the occupied residence
No injuries reported
Police are still on scene investigating
Although blurry the attached photograph involves a vehicle of interest
Vehicle: Possibly a black over burgundy Subaru Forrester
Any information regarding this vehicle should be forwarded to Detective Brian Strong:
or may be submitted Anonymously through our Crimewatch Page under “Submit a Tip”