Gunfire exchanged late Friday; 16 year-old suspect in custody | Information, Sports activities, Jobs
Two days after a man and a teenage boy exchanged gunfire near West Edwin and Locust streets in the city, a mother and her three children are coping with the trauma left behind after a stray bullet went through the family’s home.
“My kids have definitely been affected by this. Two of my children were in (a playroom) that the bullet came through. I’m super protective right now,” the woman said after she asked a reporter to step away from her. Her children are all under 10.
“We were all in the home. I was in a different room than them. They immediately jumped under a table. Then my 9-year-old daughter saw a piece of a window blind fall on the floor. We thought at first it was firecrackers. We didn’t know the difference between the sound of a firecracker and a gunshot. We’ve never had anything like this happen before,” said the mother, who has lived on the block for more than a dozen years.
“It’s very uncomfortable here right now,” she said Sunday morning.
City police rushed to the neighborhood about 9:50 pm Friday to investigate “a report of multiple shots being fired.”
Upon arrival, officers located an uninjured adult male victim and a 16-year-old juvenile suspect suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. The teen was found lying behind a home, police said in a statement.
Paramedics treated the youth and then took him to UPMC Williamsport, where, according to one officer, the teen “went right into surgery.”
The adult male told the police he was approached by two juveniles, one of whom walked behind him, pulled out a firearm and fired at him, according to the statement. “The victim was able to draw his own firearm, and the pair exchanged gunfire. The teen was struck multiple times before fleeing a short distance,” police said in the statement.
At least two of the bullets struck the mother’s home.
“One bullet went through a window where my kids were. It went through a doorway, ricocheted off my refrigerator and bounced in a back room,” the mother said as tears streamed down her cheeks.
“I want people to know that this gun violence has an effect on people. Stray bullets are what is killing our kids,” the woman said.
“We were in our home, safe. We weren’t outside in the dark. This ordeal has made us feel unsafe in our own home. I’ve never faced this type of situation before,” the mother said.
“God covered us Friday night. God covered my babies that night,” the woman said.
A second bullet struck an exterior wall on the east side of the home. Police removed the bullet fragment.
“My oldest child felt the firecrackers were too loud, too close to the home. She immediately went under the table with her sister and pulled the chairs in. She then saw a piece of the window blind fall. God covers this home,” the mother said.
“I don’t even want to go outside, and my children don’t want to go in certain rooms just yet after this,” she added.
An arrest warrant has been issued for the teenager, charging him with attempted homicide, aggravated assault and related offenses.
Court documents state the 16-year-old allegedly fired one bullet at close range at the adult male, who reported that he “could feel the bullet near his head” as it went by him. The adult male, who had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, pulled out a handgun and fired at least a dozen rounds, striking the teen at least three times, court documents stated.
The adult male, who took cover behind a tree, saw the teen attempt to return fire, but the teen’s gun reportedly became jammed, the police were told. When the teen ran behind a home, the adult called the police. When officers arrived on the scene, the adult had his hands in the air and his gun was at his feet, the police wrote in a document. While the teen was rushed to the hospital, the adult was taken to police headquarters for questioning and later released.
Friday night’s shooting occurred just two days after 20-year-old Ziar Young was shot to death in his apartment at the Victoria Gardens, 653 Hepburn St., about six blocks away. No arrest has been made in the homicide, and police did not release any information that led investigators to believe the shootings were related.
No arrest has yet been made in the homicide of Malik Davis, 39, of Williamsport, who was shot to death in a side yard at 718 Elmira St. on May 23, city police said. The bullet that claimed his life went through him and traveled through a second-story fan in a window to an apartment across the street, striking a second man, who suffered a superficial chest wound, the police said.
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