Corrections officer shot and killed at nightclub

An off-duty Mercer County Corrections officer was shot and killed early Sunday ¬†morning at Baldassari’s Regency in Chambersburg. It’s a death that marks Trenton’s 20th homicide of 2012.

It was an act of a coward, shooting into a crowd of people,” Sgt. Tony Manzo, who was working security at Baldassari’s while off duty the night of the shooting, said. “We will bring this coward to justice.”

Carl Batie, 26, a Trenton native, was on the balcony of Baldassari’s on 126 Morris Ave. around 1:15 a.m. when shots were fired from the parking lot upwards toward the balcony. Manzo, who was working security along with officer Jason Woodhead, were working near the front steps checking ID’s and collecting money, said Batie was a bystander and that the shooter was likely aiming for one of Baldassari’s private security guards.

If you’re down there, you can’t make anyone out except for security because they had ‘security’ shirts on,” Manzo said.

Manzo said people inside the bar were orderly and neither the off duty cops nor the private security had to throw anyone out or break up fights that night. There were a few people who were denied entry to the bar, which Manzo said one of those individuals may have been the shooter.

Batie was taken to St. Francis Hospital, where he was soon pronounced dead. Police have not released any information on a possible suspect or suspects. Batie had been working in corrections since 2008. Varn said correction officials were notified about Batie’s death ¬†early Sunday morning.

It’s sick, what’s happened,” Eddie Baldassari, the owner of the Regency said. “This was a young man, a correction’s officer and an innocent bystander, I feel terrible for him and his family.”

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