‘Wilkes-Barre is on edge’ Following Recent Gunfire, Mayor Says

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. -- There have been several incidents of gunfire in Wilkes-Barre in just a few days. The mayor held a news conference Wednesday with the city's police chief to give an update on the shootings.

Since Saturday, Wilkes-Barre police have responded to incidents involving gunfire four times. The chief believes they're all connected.

He told us that he has contacted state and federal agencies to help him track down who is responsible.

The first shooting happened on Saturday on Bowman Street in Wilkes-Barre. one person was wounded.

Then on Monday morning, bullets hit a home on Lockhart Street, and then more gunfire Tuesday in two separate locations -- at Dana and High Streets and Dagobert Street.

"Wilkes-Barre is on edge, and rightfully so," said Mayor Tony George at a news conference at City Hall with the police chief.

"I'm angry and I'm upset. This is my home and this is your home. Thugs who don't have the respect for us and our neighbors don't deserve to be here," said the mayor.

The Wilkes-Barre police chief says that the four incidents are all related. He says they are a result of a dispute between several individuals which he believes started back in December.

Wilkes-Barre Police Chief Joseph Coffay says they're drug-related but doesn't know if they're gang-related.

"Several of these members, they're associates of gangs or they claim to be associates of gangs, but in all reality, we really won't know that until we have them in custody and we can interview them," the chief said.

So far, only one person has been injured.

Many of the shots were fired at homes and cars that had people inside.

"That's what makes this so disturbing because they're not just shooting at the individual they're targeting, they're fighting with, they're actually at the house. Inside those houses are other people, other people in those families. Some of those are family members that have nothing to do with this dispute," Chief Coffay said.

While the chief says these attacks are targeted, people in the community tell Newswatch 16 they are still worried.

"That's definitely a concern of mine because I don't want to be coming out of a grocery store and bullets coming through my truck, so I'm definitely concerned," said Rodney Condry.

The chief also tells us that some of the people involved are from out of the state. He is working with the ATF, the FBI, state police, and the district attorney to make arrests.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.