Gun violence in the city continued take a toll this weekend, with the latest shooting claiming the life of a 21-year-old man shot inside a home in the 1500 block of Scott Street about 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
City police still were looking for the gunman, believed to be a black male in his teens, witnesses told investigators.
The victim, whose identity was not released, was shot on the first floor at 1510 Scott St., police sources said.
PHILIP A. HOLMES/Sun-Gazette
City police rushed to this home at 1510 Scott St. about 5:30 p.m. Saturday when a 21-year-old man was shot to death. The gunman, described as black and believed to be in his teens, remains at large. This was the third homicide in the city this year.
District Attorney Eric R. Linhardt said investigators "were making good progress and following leads. Search warrants are being prepared and served."
One neighbor said she head three to four shots in rapid succession.
"I heard pop, pop, pop, pop in rapid succession," the neighbor, who called 911, said.
"I saw a male go in the front door. Then I heard the shots. I saw the same male run out the back door," the neighbor, who did not want to give her name, said.
The woman said the male, who she thought was about 15 or 16 years old, ran east across a vacant lot and out of sight. Fleeing with him was another black male who was on a bike, she added.
She said she never saw a gun.
"I don't think the kid was in the house more than a minute" before the shots were fired, the woman added.
"I don't think this was a random act," she said.
Before entering the house, the male was seen talking on a cellphone as he made his way to the property, the woman said.
"I'm on the block now," the male was heard saying before he hung up and walked into the house, the neighbor added.
"This neighborhood is getting bad. I'm scared, especially for my children," she said.
The first arriving police officers quickly secured the scene. One was heard on a police radio telling a dispatcher that paramedics needed to get to the gravely-wounded victim right away.
Shortly after they went into the house, paramedics were seen carrying the victim in a hurry to a waiting ambulance that rushed him to the Williamsport Regional Medical Center. He was pronounced dead at 6:04 p.m. of gunshot wounds, Lycoming County Coroner Charles E. Kiessling said.
The victim's address on his driver's license was of the 600 block of Fourth Avenue, but his family was from Philadelphia, Kiessling said investigators were told.
An autopsy was scheduled for early this week. Kiessling said he would likely release the victim's identity later today.
"This street anymore is drugs and killings," another neighborhood resident said.
"This block used to be beautiful, but drugs and violence are knocking it down," the woman, who also did not want her name published, said.
"I see a lot of police presence in this neighborhood, and this kind of stuff still happens. I don't understand it," the woman said as she watched officers wrap yellow crime around then entire house.
State troopers and Pennsylvania College of Technology police assisted at the scene.
As news of the shooting rapidly spread, an unidentified woman approached the house. She then sat on the curb, lowered her head and sobbed uncontrollably in her arms.
Neighbors were seen trying to console her.
A young man visiting his parents' home on the block at the time of the shooting was out behind the house when the gunfire erupted.
"He ducked his head because he wasn't sure where the shots were coming from," the man's mother, who did not give her name, told the Sun-Gazette.
"This neighborhood has changed 100 percent. Years ago, a lot of older people lived here and owned their own homes. Now many of these properties are rentals. People come and go. There is turnover, turnover, turnover," the woman, who has lived on the street for more than 20 years, said.
"I'm not afraid to sit on my front porch. I'm not going to be run out of town," she said.
The woman said the closeness among neighbors she and her husband first experienced when they moved to the city years ago was gone.
"You just keep your head down. You don't make eye contact," she remarked.
Saturday night's fatal shooting was the third homicide in the city this year.
A 21-year-old city man was shot to death execution style in the 300 block of Susquehanna Street during a reported drug deal on Jan. 9. Two men have been arrested in this case.
A 22-year-old city man was fatally wounded in an apartment at 1261 W. Fourth Street on the afternoon of June 13. A 19-year-old man has been charged.
A 16-year-old boy was wounded and recovering after being shot near Elmira Street and Center Place minutes after the Center City fireworks display concluded on July 4.
A 19-year-old man charged with that shooting accidentally shot himself in the leg as he was fleeing the scene, police reported. He was arrested on July 11 on attempted homicide-related charges and remains behind bars. A second suspect remains at large.