Your Local News | Allentown, Bethlehem & Easton
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Allentown News

Allentown man charged in fatal February shooting at child's party

Allentown Police Department, Allentown City Hall, Allentown Arts Park, Lehigh County Jail, prison, Allentown Center City, Lehigh valley
Donna S. Fisher
For LehighValleyNews.com
This is the Allentown Police Department in Allentown, Pa.. Picture made in March, 2023.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. — An Allentown man has been arrested and charged with homicide in a February fatal shooting at a child's birthday party, it was announced Tuesday.

Roberto Gonzalez, 25, of Allentown, was charged in the Feb. 17 death Miguel S. Dalmasi, 33, of Alburtis, in a dispute at South Dauphin and East Walnut Streets, a release from the office of District Attorney Gavin P. Holihan and Allentown Police Chief Charles Roca.

The shooting happened during a birthday party for a 1-year-old, according to the release.

Gonzalez faces a first-degree felony count of criminal homicide, a second-degree felony count of possession of a prohibited firearm and two second degree misdemeanor counts of recklessly endangering another person, according to the release.

Gonzalez was arraigned before District Judge Ronald Manescu and sent to Lehigh County Jail with no bail.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for 9:45 a.m. July 15 in Lehigh County’s Central Court.

The investigation

Police were called to the scene of the shooting about 7:48 p.m. and found Dalmasi dead from multiple gunshot wounds.

The Lehigh County Coroner ruled the death a homicide.

Investigations showed prior to the shooting, several unknown men wearing ski masks and hooded sweatshirts were gathered outside the East Side Fire Social Hall at 405 E. Walnut St., where the party was held.

A dispute broke out between those who arrived at the hall and the people already at the party.

Dalmasi, a relative of the 1-year-old, went outside the hall to mediate the dispute, and a fight broke out, police stated.

One of the men involved in the dispute, later identified as Gonzalez, pulled out a firearm during the fight and allegedly fired several shots, striking Dalmasi.

Several spent shell casings were recovered at the scene and analyzed by Detective Mark Garrett with the Lehigh County Firearm and Tool Mark Laboratory. Garrett determined all the casings came from the same firearm.

Gonzalez was identified by witnesses whose names will not be released because of safety concerns, the district attorney’s office stated.

In addition, he was identified in video footage from area cameras and Allentown’s Flock Safety cameras in the area, authorities said.

Identified through clothing

A search of Gonzalez’s North Front Street apartment found clothing similar to what he had been wearing the night of the shooting, as well as the same ammunition found at the scene.

The case was assisted by Allentown Police Detectives and Vice units, the Lehigh County Homicide Task Force, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Explosives and Tool Mark Laboratory and the Flock Safety program in Allentown.

The case was investigated by Allentown Police Detective Raymond Ferraro and Lehigh County Homicide Task Force Detective Timothy Salgado.

It will be prosecuted by Chief of Prosecutions Patricia Fuentes Mulqueen and Senior Deputy District Attorney Kevin P. McCloskey.