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Deadly Shooting Outside Bar in Pittston

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PITTSTON -- A man is dead after a shooting outside a bar in Pittston.

Neighbors were already worried about the rowdiness outside the bar, but now their concerns are only growing.

Police say a handshake refusal led to the deadly shooting outside of Saints and Sinners Irish Pub on Center Street just after 1 a.m. Sunday.

When officers arrived on scene, the alleged shooter still held the gun in his right hand. According to police, when officers ordered him to drop the weapon, he said, "Here is the gun. I shot him."

Officers arrested Stephen Spencer, 30, and charged him with criminal homicide, simple assault, and terroristic threats.

The coroner identified the victim as Christopher Williams, 32, of Pittston.

Neighbors have complained about loud noises coming from the bar, but they were shocked to learn someone was killed.

"A shooting you never suspect it. There's fights and stuff but not a shooting," said Joyce Cook of Pittston.

Police say the violence started inside the bar after a witness refused to shake Spencer's hand. According to court papers, that unidentified witness says they left the bar and started to walk home. They saw Spencer reach into his pants, grab a gun, and fire.

Williams was rushed to Geisinger Wyoming Valley where he died.

"We don't have a lot of shootings like we do in other towns, but it does happen everywhere, too many guns on the street," said Jerry Lynch of Pittston.

Michael Mahler lives across the street from the bar and tells Newswatch 16 after the deadly shooting, he's worried about his children's safety.

"I don't think it belongs here. It's a residential neighborhood, and it's one thing to go out and have a couple beers, but with shooting and what not, I want it out of here," Mahler said.

Spencer is locked up in the Luzerne County jail. A hearing has been scheduled for July 19.


  • E

    Ha ha ha ha! A handshake refusal led to a shooting ha ha ha ha! White trash just can’t help themselves! I can just hear the arguement now, something about what his father taught him regarding respect. Lol. I bet he’s the type of white trash that spouts “why are you looking at me, you either want to fight me or f*ck me” ha ha ha ha ha ha! and yes while in a bar in Pittston eating I witnessed someone ACTUALLY say that to another person! Ha ha ha ha ha! Garbage will always be garbage.

    • Sharon

      In a bar in Pittston, was it that one ? Was it that night? Was it these guys? You did not mention that part. You also did not say Wth the ha ha ha is about ! A man is dead and I don’t see anything funny about that at all. You sound like a real sweetheart E !

  • john williams

    The trash exists in the neighborhood because the residents of the neighborhood allow it. If it was not tolerated it would be driven out by the residents and wouldn’t exist. The job of law enforcement is not to serve and to protect. The job of law enforcement is to ENFORCE THE LAW, which they usually do 20 minutes late in the case of the murder. Its up to the people to decide what they will, and will not accept in their neighborhood.

  • Carl Dryden

    Please- It is not the gun that is at fault- it’s the moron using it- none of my guns have killed anyone-

  • Archie Beal

    Totally BAN firearms. Confiscate them and destroy. Make it a felony offense for anyone to possess. Eventually you will accomplish what needs to be done

    • Are you kidding!?!

      Damn right, Archie. Let them use switchblades. It will be the Jets and Sharks all over again.

    • Peaceful gun owner

      Yes, let’s strip any law abiding citizen that uses the firearms for their protection against criminals that would find them by other means than legally. Strip all the citizens as Hitler wanted to in Nazi Germany to render the good people of America completely helpless to the criminals that are going to find them one way or another. Pure genius. Now we can all get robbed peacefully.

  • Mad Dog

    So two shootings in one night at a bar in NEPA? Glad I stay the hell out of bars anymore. Don’t bring your damn guns drinking, idiots!

  • John

    Another “Too Many Guns, On The Street” comment…if a criminal wants a gun, he is going to get one..I don’t care how many laws, get passed. There aren’t too many guns, just too many idiots, with guns.

  • Archie Beal

    Here we go again. Another shooting and another example demonstrating society’s inability to show they even deserve the right and privilege to posses a firearm. Major restraints and restrictions need to be instilled on the 2nd ammendment. All you clowns that disagree, I challenge you to present a better plan. Because allowing the general public to retain and possess firearms sure as heck isn’t working. Firearms need to be taken away for good. People other than law enforcement and military, don’t deserve them. It proven everyday

    • Are you kidding!?!

      We should ban cars too. Even with a license they are killing people. We should ban everything until they are killing each other with their bare hands. Then you can chop them off. Sound good?

      • Sharon

        Too bad the two decent men were in walking distance and not driving !! I agree people should not drive drunk. So does the guy that held his friend while he bled to death. I know this because he was my brothers best friend. My brother was killed in a drunk driving accident. We all despise it. Poor guy was out having a couple beers for his Birthday and his friend gets killed. I don’t care who “likes ” the bar or thinks it “should be there”. Nobody is obligated to shake hands with a jerk. Whom obviously proved he was by waiting outside to kill him.

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