WILKES-BARRE — Court documents indicate that a father shot and killed another man after their sons were involved in a fight on Reno Lane Thursday evening.
Authorities said 36-year-old Shauntae Thomas is locked on a single charge of criminal homicide.
The Luzerne County coroner said Derrick Cottle died at the scene due to multiple gunshot wounds.
Officials at Geisinger Wyoming Valley said the alleged shooter’s teenage son was taken to the hospital for a head injury from the fight, and that he has been treated and released.
The Luzerne County District Attorney’s office said investigators are still trying to figure out what sparked the fight and how the shooting played out, but detectives believe that the pistol used was registered to Thomas.
Charles Chihany told Newswatch 16 that he heard yelling then gunshots outside his home and he’s stunned that his neighbor would shoot another man.
“Over a basketball game and somebody lost their life and he goes to jail… sad thing,” said Chihany. “(Thomas) lives right down the street, nice guy. I never thought he`d be able to do anything like that. He was always a nice guy. Peaceful, never bothered anybody.”
The father of the shooting victim told Newswatch 16 that Derrick Cottle left behind six children and that several family members are recovering after seeing the bloody crime scene.
“He lived for his children and he died for them. That`s the best I can say. I love my son. We`re going to miss him,” said Dennis Cottle. “He was a family oriented man; loved his children, loved his family. He thrived and was motivated because of the love he has for his children. That`s the kind of man he was.”
Mayor Tom Leighton released a written statement about the homicide investigation and said that a nearby park where the fight allegedly started is safe.
“All initial evidence points to a series of altercations that quickly escalated out of control. There is no reason that such petty arguments should end violently,” Leighton said in the statement. “Parents should have no reservations about bringing their kids to the park to play basketball, skate at the ice rink, or participate in any of the organized athletics on Coal Street fields. We cannot allow a personal and isolated incident to affect our daily lives.”