WILKES-BARRE — City police are investigating a deadly shooting that occurred late Tuesday afternoon at 32 N. Sherman St., across from the Heights-Murray Elementary School.
One man with an apparent gunshot wound to the head was removed from the house by city paramedics just before 4 p.m. He appeared unresponsive and was transported to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Plains Township, where he was pronounced dead at about 5 p.m. Police did not release the victim’s identity.
Two men were handcuffed and detained in the driveway. They sat on the ground before they were placed in two cruisers and taken to police headquarters for questioning. Their names also were not released.
Police Chief Gerard Dessoye said he believed the community was not in danger. “We feel we have all the participants involved,” he said.
Dessoye wouldn’t say if a weapon was recovered. Police were waiting for a search warrant to enter the house.
A man who identified himself only as “Relly” said he was walking past the house and saw two men arguing outside. He soon heard what he thought were fireworks when he realized it was gunfire.
“I saw two guys fighting. As soon as I got down the block, I said, ‘Dude, what was that.’ I thought it was fireworks,” said Relly. “I came back and I’m like, man, he got a head wound. I hope everything is good for him.”
Relly said he knows the man who was shot as Tom, and he recognizes the two men who were detained by police.
“Everyone up here go by street names. That’s how I know them,” he said. “It sounded like they were fighting over a girl.”
A North Sherman Street resident who did not want to identify herself said she heard three men yelling and then gunfire. “I had my door open and heard them yelling and then the pops,” she said. “I looked out and saw the two guys looking down, then the one guy knelt down and then the police were here. They got here quick.”
Dessoye said he did not immediately know who called 911 or the circumstances that led up to the shooting.
Investigators believe the man was shot inside the house, he said.
Police Captain of Detectives Robert Hughes, Detective Joseph Bitzer, an undercover drug detective and an undercover drug officer were at the scene with Dessoye and other police officers.
A trooper with the state police Forensic Services Unit arrived at the house at about 6 p.m. to process the scene.
“We’re trying to figure out who owns the home, who was living here and who was visiting,” Dessoye said.
The deadly shooting is the fifth homicide in Wilkes-Barre this year.
Jamel Martin, 20, and Leroy Smith, 42, were fatally shot outside a tavern on Scott Street on Jan. 17. No arrest has been made.
Renold Julien, 26, was fatally shot outside Locals 88, a tavern on Poplar Street, on March 16. No arrest has been made.
Derrick Cottle, 40, was fatally shot on Reno Lane on April 25. Shauntae Thomas, 38, is charged with criminal homicide.