SWAT situation in Washington Co. comes to end



ELLSWORTH, Pa. - A SWAT situation in Ellsworth, Washington County, that forced lockdowns Friday night ended Saturday after nearly 19 hours.

According to police, the incident began about 4 p.m. Friday at a home near the intersection of North Main and Oak streets.

Residents living in the area were on lockdown for much of the standoff’s duration. Anyone who didn’t make it home before the lockdown wasn’t allowed inside their homes, while families who were home when the situation began were told to stay inside.

The people at a nearby special needs school were allowed to go home.

Officials said the incident started when Joe Cunningham went to a home where a former girlfriend lived. He was armed and threatened the woman, her current boyfriend and a 15-year-old girl, all of whom were home at the time.

At one point Cunningham and the woman’s current boyfriend exchanged gunfire. Cunningham suffered a non-life-threatening gunshot wound.

The woman and her boyfriend then got out of the home to find help.

The 15-year-old girl was held hostage by Cunningham, police said. She was later able to escape the home, but Cunningham remained inside.

The standoff continued until police were able to gain entry to the home and place Cunningham into custody.

Cunningham is facing charges, including aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person.