Pizza deliveryman dies after on-campus robbery


EAST STROUDSBURG, MONROE COUNTY (WOLF) -- The pizza deliveryman who police say was shot during a robbery on Monday morning on the ESU campus has died.

We have reaction from those who knew him and how some students are helping the family.

Domino's delivery driver Richard LaBar, 58, died at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest around 9 p.m. Tuesday night, and the death was ruled a homicide, according to the Lehigh County Coroner's Office.

The family had him taken off life support after multiple tests found no brain activity and he'd been shot above his right eye, according to the Monroe County DA's Office.

The criminal complaint says a 17-year-old pulled the trigger at the ROTC building.

"He'd sit in his porch. There's a chair there and he sits and he's got a TV right next to him and every morning he'd be watching the news," says neighbor Luis Colón.

Colon says their granddaughters used to take the bus to school together, and LaBar's daughter and her family also lived with him.

"He was telling me he was retired," says Colón. "But, he was making extra money to buy Christmas presents for his granddaughter and he was there helping his daughter out too."

"He used to clean the snow, help us out with the snow. If your car got stuck in the area, he would come out with the snowblower," says Colón. "He used to come around with the van that says Domino's Pizza on it and he used to park there in the front and beep the horn."

"They're very nice people. They're quiet," says neighbor Paul Vanderhoof, who would help with handyman projects. "They're always outside with their daughter playing, but lately it's been very quiet over there. I'm sorry it happened."

"I had a couple of deliveries, but I didn't know him very well. He was very nice, so I'm sad to hear that he passed away," says neighbor/freshman Jasmine Melendez. "I always made sure I gave him a nice tip though, because I know that working around here's gotta be tough."

The shooting has shocked people on the ESU campus since Monday. Students were first notified by e-mail between 7 and 8 a.m. Monday, university relations director Brenda Friday said.

One sorority decided to try to help LaBar's family by starting a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the family.

"It's very scary. It's a scary situation for something like that to happen so close to campus. It's a scary situation for it to happen anywhere," says Lambda Iota chapter president Johna Palladino.

Palladino says it's finals week on campus and sister Samantha Cordes suggested the idea, and they went with it. She said about 90 people donated $2,600 dollars. She and her roommates often order from Domino's.

"We hope what we're doing really helps his family and just solidifies the fact that the community does care about what happens here and the students of ESU care," says Palladino.

"These owners shouldn't be sending out these workers at that time, knowing the way East Stroudsburg is," says Colón.

Israel Berrios, 17, has also admitted to state police that he committed two robberies on campus in October and November, campus police Chief William Parrish said.

Berrios and Salvador Roberts, 21, are also suspects in a couple more assaults and a robbery, including a student who was grabbed last Tuesday while walking near the library, Parrish said. The investigation continues.

"I just feel sad about it, because it's not right what they did to him," says Colón.

At ESU, Parrish says they currently have about 15 officers, either security or police, and are hiring two more to start in January. He says recent robberies helped add to their ongoing push for more officers and new cameras.

The Lehigh County Coroner's Office says an autopsy on LaBar is scheduled for Thursday. Another GoFundMe page has also been put online.

The third homicide suspect, Carolina Carmona, 30, is also facing new aggravated assault charges, filed Monday, after an incident late Oct. 13 at a Wal-Mart near the Domino's involving someone Berrios knew.

In that case, the criminal complaint says Carmona put her hand's around the victim's neck and pushed her, while Berrios punched and kicked her in the head and face.

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