Student Shot Before Senior Year in Wilkes-Barre

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WILKES-BARRE – Family and friends of a 19-year-old shot five times over the weekend said that they are optimistic that a tip will lead to the arrest of the gunman.

The parents of William “Chilly” Uggiano told Newswatch 16 that their son is hospitalized in critical condition, after he was shot five times near South Grant Street late Saturday night.

“These are not our kids who are committing these crimes. These are people who are coming here that are committing these crimes. Everybody knows my son, everybody loves my son,” said Javette Uggiano. "That`s the only way we’re going to stop crime is somebody has got to start talking and stop being quiet about things. If you know something, tell it."

Uggiano said that her family relocated to Wilkes-Barre in 1996 when her husband was stationed at the Naval Reserve in Avoca, and that she is grateful for the officers who responded to a 911 call of shots fired in the neighborhood.

“I just wanted tell those policemen thank you. If I could shake their hand, I would love to shake their hand and give them a hug because had it not been for them, my son would not be alive,” said Uggiano. “They got him to the hospital; he was responsive when he got hospital. He told them who his mother and father were.”

Authorities have not released a possible motive, but family members believe that the shooting may be a case of mistaken identity.

Krishana Coleman said she’s been longtime friends with the family, and that parents in the community have been warning their kids about violence in the city this summer.

"There’s too much going on in Wilkes-Barre right now. Everybody is getting shot. It`s awful,” said Coleman.

Coleman’s 11-year-old son said many kids don’t seem to be afraid of gun violence.

"They don`t care. That`s why they do it. They want a name for themselves,” said Tazheir Coleman.

Anyone with information about the shooting investigation is asked to call Wilkes-Barre Police at 570-208-4207.