Man hospitalized, suspect sought after latest city shooting

A 39-year-old man was seriously injured when he was he shot in an alley just south of Sixth Avenue and High Street about 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to city police.

The victim “was scolding a group of men. He was righteously angry with one man in the group for doing something to him. I don’t know what,” a 51-year-old neighbor who witnessed the shooting said.

As the group was walking east down the alley, the victim followed them and “kept yelling ‘Why are you treating me like this? We’re family,’ ” said the neighbor, whose name the Sun-Gazette is not publishing.

“Someone in the group yelled back ‘We’re not family,’ ” said the witness, who watched in disbelief as angry words suddenly escalated into gunfire.

The victim “began taunting the group. I heard him say ‘Shoot me. Shoot me.’ Then a man in the group turned around and pop, pop, pop, pop, pop. I believe there were six shots. I think he emptied his gun,” the witness added.

The victim did not fall to the ground, but fell on his knees, the witness said.

The gunman and the victim were about 10 to 15 yards from one another, the witness, who has lived on the block for 12 years, said.

The witness was among a half dozen callers who dialed 911 to report the shooting.

Police officers were on the scene within minutes.

“As they (paramedics) were putting him in the back of an ambulance, he was awake and I believe talking,” the witness said of the victim, who initially was taken to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center and then flown to a trauma center. Police are not releasing his identity at this time.

The witness said he was acquainted with the victim, who lives in the neighborhood and always spoke to him as he walked by the man’s house with his dogs.

“He’s a very pleasant man,” the witness said of the victim.

“He knows who shot him. There’s no mystery there,” he added.

The witness said he was unsettled and troubled by the violence.

“Shooting someone doesn’t solve anything. Figure out your differences. Guns only create more trouble,” he said.

“We believe this is not a random act and that it is likely that the victim knew those in the group,” Agent Eric Delker, the lead investigator, said. The victim is “expected to survive,” the investigator said.

“The first officers to arrive had difficulty securing the scene due to a crowd of uncooperative witnesses who refused to provide information,” Delker said, adding that forensic and physical evidence was collected.

No description of the shooter was available, Delker said.

Police were looking to question a young black man wearing a brown sweatshirt and brown pants who ran from the scene.