Mayor, Police Chief Concerned About Shooting

WILKES-BARRE — More violence has hit a city that is trying to fight crime with new laws.  This time, another shooting that leaves two people hurt.

Little information is being released from police headquarters or from City Hall.

Friday morning the police said one man shot in the head and is in grave condition.

The second person has been released from the hospital.

So far there are no arrests and no word on a motive.

The crime tape has been taken down from the stairs outside Boulevard Townhomes on South Welles Street but there’s still blood on the sidewalk  where police sat someone started shooting at people walking by.

“He fired at the three individuals. Two were struck. One in the head, one in the body, and one was not hit,” said Wilkes Barre Police Chief Gerry Dessoye.

Wilkes-Barre police say the gunman escaped in the dark.

Investigators say the man was shot in the head. Another man shot in the hip has been treated and released from the hospital.

“It’s very upsetting, it’s very frustrating.”

At a press conference about the first apartment unit in the city shut down by the recently passed one-strike ordinance, Mayor Tom Leighton said he’s ordered more patrols in rough neighborhoods. The mayor also says the city does not have enough cash and cops to watch every corner.

“I have made a commitment to our residents. We’re not going to lose this battle. We’re going to win this war.”

Several neighbors who heard the gunshots say they’re worried about another shooting and didn’t want to talk on camera.

Police Chief Gerry Dessoye says it’s been a long summer exhausting officers and overwhelming the court system.

“These people are outlaws to society. They’re settling their differences in a way that no segment of society thinks is the right way, except for their own subgroups that feel violence is an acceptable and something to be proud of.”

Police believe only one person is behind Friday morning’s shooting.