WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Wilkes-Barre police say they expect to file charges shortly in connection with a shooting Friday that took place in broad daylight at a busy shopping center, one man was wounded a suspect taken into custody.
The drama unfolded at the South Main Plaza in Wilkes-Barre and the shopping center across the street at around 11:20 morning police say two groups of males were arguing when the suspect shot the victim in the leg.
Witnesses and business owners say they could not believe what was happening right before their eyes. Wilkes-Barre police converge on the South Main Plaza. This is where witnesses say a man was shot.
Detectives searched the area for evidence, moments after the shooting. Police stopped a red car at the parking lot in another shopping center across the street.
A man inside the car, identified as Julio Aristy, age 25 of Scranton, who police say the suspect in the shooting. Aristy shot Taiyan Carlos Sotomayor-Mercado twice, as the victim was walking away. Aristy was taken into custody and is being questioned by detectives.
The red car Aristy was inside was seized by police. In fact, sources close to the investigation tell the I-Team police stopped the car as it was leaving the scene of the shooting.
Mbathio Sall owns a convenience store just feet away from where the gunfire broke out.
“I was in the back working and one of my employees came in and said hey there’s a shooting outside I said just lock the door next thing I knew the cops were here,” said Sall.
Sall says this shooting is the latest crime in this shopping plaza.
“This is not helping this is not helping. I don’t know what the cops could do if it’s not shooting it’s like people hanging out loitering smoking out in front of the store discouraging people from coming in,” stated Sall.
Other shoppers say they were not sure what was going on.
“First I thought it was a body or something I mean with this many cop’s something bad happened with shooting or something like that. I heard it’s a pretty bad area around here. I wasn’t sure what happened,” said Brit Keifer, a shopper.
“It’s crazy. It has to stop. Young people out here shopping with children. It has to stop,” stated Tracy Persing, an eyewitness.
Aristy has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, reckless endangerment of another person, and assault to bodily injury with a deadly weapon.