Second Shooting Victim Dies, Third Victim Expected To Recover

WILKES-BARRE – Authorities in Luzerne County confirmed that the man, who survived an early morning shooting outside a bar on Scott Street on Thursday, died several hours after the first victim died.

Investigators said 20-year-old Jamel Martin died from at Geisinger Wyoming Valley, about 12 hours after he was shot in the head.

The Luzerne County Acting Coroner Bill Lisman said an autopsy on Martin is tentatively scheduled for Monday.

Lisman said 42-year-old Leroy Smith died at the scene of multiple gunshot wounds and ruled the death as a homicide.

One employee, who did not want to be identified, said Martin and Smith had left Don Kasper’s Watering Hole as the bar was closing, then she heard 6 gunshots outside.

“(Smith) was just a great guy. He’d do anything for anybody. Always smiling and cracking jokes. If you had a bad day, he made you laugh,” the employee said.

Another woman who did not want to be identified stopped at the makeshift memorial to leave flowers for the two men.

“Don’t take life for granted. No matter how good a person you are. Bad things can happen to anyone,” the woman said.

Luzerne County District Attorney Stefanie Salavantis told Newswatch 16 that both men had a criminal past, but that county and city detectives are nonstop to find the shooter.

“Public safety is our number one concern. These people may have had a record, but they do not deserve what just happened. We will do everything in our power to make sure the public is safe,” said Salavantis.

Investigators said another man who was shot 12 hours later in a separate shooting on Coal Street is expected to recover.

Officials at Geisinger Wyoming Valley said John Simpson is listed in stable condition.

Shortly after noon on Thursday, witnesses said they heard an argument on the sidewalk outside Alan Grocery and Deli, heard a single gunshot and saw Simpson bleeding on the front steps of the business.

Salavantis said detectives are optimistic that Simpson will recover and be able to provide information that may help police find the person behind the shooting.

“We do believe that he will pull through. Once again, the investigation is still pretty new. We are conducting interviews and following leads that are coming in,” said Salavantis.

Anyone with information on either shooting is urged to call detectives at Wilkes-Barre Police Headquarters at 570-826-8106.



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