Shooting victim ID’d
Authorities have released the name of the man shot to death at about 5:30 p.m. in an alley off of the 300 block of Susquehanna Street late Wednesday afternoon.
Terell “Rell” Henderson Littles, 21, of Williamsport, died from a single gunshot wound in an alley next to the Pennsylvania College of Technology campus. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police did not wish to reveal the location of the wound, stating they wanted to wait for Coroner Charles E. Kiessling Jr.’s report.
Penn College police was the first department on the scene.
“I was very proud of the work done by our campus police and how well they worked with city and state police,” said Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour, college president.
“Incidents like this are very detrimental to the community and the school, and we’re certainly concerned about incidents like this happening near our campus. We take student safety very seriously,” she added.
Most students are on winter break; however, the college alerted all students of the shooting via email, immediately after it occurred.
“We released an alert to everyone, reminding them to keep out of the area while the incident was unfolding,” Gilmour said.
City police detectives are working around-the-clock trying to track down the gunman who killed Littles.
A weary Capt. Timothy Miller, one of several investigators who worked throughout the night trying to follow leads of the case, said on Thursday police had few public details about the homicide.
“Any time we’re dealing with an investigation of this nature, sometimes no information is the best information to release,” Miller said.
Inaccurate information released by the public via social media networks has, unfortunately, only added to the police force’s workload, according to Miller.
“Right now we’re having problems because there’s a lot of inaccurate information floating around on social media. We want to encourage people not to spread rumors. The worst thing that could happen would be if the wrong person was demonized for a crime they did not commit,” he said.
“Every one of those rumors on social media networks we follow up on, and when they’re not true we end up wasting our resources,” he added. “We’re following all the leads as far as they will take us.”
Miller encouraged those with accurate information to contact city police.
Edward Lyon, a local businessman and landlord who owns several rental properties near the shooting, expressed outrage over how investigators left a pile of absorbent material on the spot where the victim was slain.
“It is tragic enough to have to have a young man shot here, but to leave it like this. There is no reason for this whatsoever. They’ve got to clean this up,” Lyon said Thursday morning.
“They didn’t even clean this up right. Out of disrespect for the kid and his family, out of disrespect for my neighborhood, it’s disgusting,” Lyon said.
“If this was my family, if this was my son or brother shot, and I saw this, I would be enraged,” he said.
Hours after the shooting, someone left a stuffed animal at the scene, immediately next to the absorbent material.
“People have come by here all day and taken pictures. It’s all over Facebook. They should have totally washed down (this area),” Lyon said.
Lyon doesn’t own the property where the victim was shot but has rentals across the street.
Miller said investigators did everything they could to clean up the scene properly.
“Given the current environmental factors involved, there was nowhere to spray the material, and it was well below freezing,” Miller said.
“Short of going out there with ice picks and chopping up the ice or washing it into the snow, there was little else that could be done,” Miller said, adding that the alley has no drain.
“We can’t control the weather. We can’t help that there were no drains. We did everything we could,” Miller said.
“We rendered it safe, where it was not a danger to anyone,” he added.
Lyon hoped that an arrest soon would be made in the case.
“I’m sweating as a landlord. What do I tell the parents of a … student, who lives in one of my buildings 80 yards away, that a kid gets shot to death,” Lyon asked.
“Clearly, shootings are bad for business. As long the city relies on tax dollars as a primary source of income, this is going to hurt the city, this is going to hurt landlords,” Lyon said. “Who wants to live where people are being shot?”