Thursday, July 10, 2014

Three people died Thursday; all likely homicide victims

March 17. 2013 2:59AM

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Luzerne County Acting Coroner William Lisman confirms that the second man shot on Scott Street in the early morning hours Thursday has succumbed to his injuries.

Jamel Martin, 20, died Thursday evening at Geisinger Wyoming Valley, Lisman said. No autopsy has been scheduled for him.

A second man that was also shot outside Don Kasper's Watering Hole at 129 Scott St. around 2:30 a.m. also died. Lisman pronounced Leroy Smith, 42, dead at the scene at 4:15 a.m.

His autopsy will be performed today at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital, Lisman said.

Smith suffered a gunshot wound to the chest and Luzzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis said Martin was shot in the head. A city police officer patrolling the area found Smith and Martin several feet from each other.

She said evidence collected at the scene indicates Smith and Martin did not shoot each other.

Police did recover shell casings from the ground.

Another autopsy scheduled for today will be for Lorraine Stelma, 69. Stelma sustained permanent brain damage, according to a police affidavit when she was brutally assaulted at her Horton Street, Wilkes-Barre home on Dec. 29.

Lisman said she died Thursday at Geisinger Wyoming Valley. Her son, Mark J. Stelma, 44, was imprisoned on an outstanding warrant and he is a person of interest in his mother's death though no charges have been filed against him related to her death.

Another shooting victim remains hospitalized from his injuries.

City police on Thursday responded to a second shooting incident; a man was shot on Coal Street just before noon. The victim, whom police did not identify, was in serious condition.

Wilkes-Barre Mayor Tom Leighton said in a written statement that although the shootings occurred within hours of each other, it was ‚??too early to speculate about a possible connection.‚?Ě He said authorities are confident that neither shooting was a random act of violence.

‚??Given the proximity of these shootings to one another, I know that many city residents may be shocked, angered and afraid tonight. The general public should not feel an undue risk of harm. I want to reassure them that this administration‚??s top priority is to keep you and your family safe,‚?Ě Leighton said.

‚??These disturbing acts of violence have no place in our community. We will not tolerate it as we continue to combat violence in our streets. I have informed (Police) Chief Gerard Dessoye that he will have every available resource at his disposal to find those responsible in (Thursday‚??s) shootings,‚?Ě he said.

Leighton asked that anyone with information about either shooting contact Wilkes-Barre police immediately at 826-8111.

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