More News:

April 12, 2023

Chester County man who allegedly shot at troopers responding to fire at his home is charged with attempted murder

The bullets missed the state police while another trooper shot and injured Nicholas Valenti, 59; investigators seized a loaded AR-15

Crime Arson
Chester County House Fire Thom Carroll/For PhillyVoice

Nicholas Valenti, 59, of Chester County, who allegedly set his Chester County home on fire and then fired bullets at two of the Pennsylvania state troopers who responded to the scene has been charged with attempted murder and arson. The incident happened in West Nantmeal on April 3.

The man who allegedly set his Chester County home on fire last week and then fired shots at two of the Pennsylvania state troopers who responded to the scene was charged on Monday with attempted murder and arson, officials said.

The two troopers were walking up the driveway of the West Nantmeal Township home of Nicholas Valenti, 59, at 7:31 p.m. on April 3, when they heard the sound gunshots and scrambled for cover, police said. Another trooper who had arrived returned fire with his rifle, striking Valenti in the arm and leg.

A loaded, silver revolver and more bullets ere found on the ground next to Valenti after he was shot, investigators said. Troopers also found an AR-15 rifle left on top of the car near where Valenti was taken into custody. The assault rifle was loaded with 18 bullets, its safety had been turned off and its red-dot optical sight had been turned on.

The next day, police searched Valenti's home and also found a loaded magnum revolver.

After Valenti was shot, the troopers provided emergency medical treatment until he was transported to Reading Hospital. West Nantmeal Township is in far northwestern Chester County and borders on Berks County.

Fire marshals, who investigated the fire, said it started in family room on the home's first floor, where they recovered a piece of melted, red plastic believed to be a remnant of a gas container, officials said.

"This is another grave reminder of how dangerous it is for our first responders every single day and it is a miracle that no one was killed," Chester County District Attorney Deborah Ryan said.

Valenti is charged with attempted murder of law enforcement officers, aggravated assault, arson and related offenses. He is being held at Chester County Prison in lieu of $750,000 bail and his preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 17. 

Anyone with information about the incident can Pennsylvania State Police at (610) 486-6280.