WILKES-BARRE — A man was fatally shot early Saturday morning on Poplar Street, Wilkes-Barre, authorities have confirmed.
Renold Julien, 26, was pronounced dead at 3:38 a.m. at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Plains Township, succumbing to multiple gunshot wounds, said Luzerne County Coroner William Lisman. The cause of death has been ruled homicide, he said.
After the incident around 2:10 a.m., friends drove Julien to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, Lisman said. The gunshot victim was then transferred to Geisinger Hospital.
Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis confirmed that the incident happened near the Locals 88 bar, formerly the Poplar Inn, and, by all accounts, it seems the crime was committed with intent. “We do not believe this was random,” Salavantis said.
No one was in custody as of Saturday afternoon, Salavantis said. She could not provide details on a suspect because the investigation is ongoing, she said.
Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board records indicate Robert Nicoletti Jr. holds a restaurant’s liquor license for the Poplar Street establishment; however, Nicoletti could not be immediately reached for comment.
Charlotte Raup, head of the Wilkes-Barre Crime Watch Coalition, said police previously have responded to the site for various incidents. “The police are called there often. Fights. Music,” said Raup. “It’s not the first time shots were fired. It’s the first time somebody was killed, though.”
In November, two people were injured in a shooting outside Locals 88, and in February 2012, a Burgitt’s City Taxi driver reportedly was robbed at gunpoint while waiting for a fare outside the bar, according to published reports.
“I don’t know what the answer is, but it’s getting bad for people in the neighborhood,” Raup said.