WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— Two people are in custody following a shootout in a Wilkes-Barre neighborhood Friday afternoon.
The violence happened just one day after President Biden canceled his visit to the city to speak about community safety and crime-related issues.
A positive COVID-19 test prevented President Biden from speaking in the Diamond City on Thursday about his proposed “Safer America Plan.” Its goal is to help police departments across the country hire and train an additional 100,000 police officers to help fight crime like this on community streets.
Police blocked off Hughes street in Wilkes-Barre around 2:30 Friday afternoon.
Evidence markers and bullet casings could be seen scattered throughout the area as officers swarmed the scene.
“They looked right at me, and I’m saying to myself, oh my god,” said Jennifer Gray.
Jennifer Gray has lived in this community for two years. Earlier in the day, she recalled seeing a man wearing all black lurking around the neighborhood.
“He’s starting to look around the vehicles and the garages of the neighbors and so I figured, I’m gonna call 911 and let them know,” Gray told Eyewitness News.
As she was sitting on her porch waiting for the police to arrive, the commotion began.
Investigators said a dispute between two groups of males led to gunfire.
“The one with the handgun came running up this way, stopped in front of the house again shooting at the home and the people, and then ran through the neighbor’s yard,” Gray explained.
Police said nobody was injured during the shootout, but Eyewitness News found cars and homes with shattered windows.
“It’s crazy because I didn’t think something in our neighborhood like that would happen in our neighborhood here,” said Roselyn Reyes-Torres.
“I really didn’t think it would be happening this close. And I mean, there’s kids all over the neighborhood. How could anybody put any kind of child in danger like that? And then it’s like, you have innocent people enjoying a summer day sitting outside and being out in their yard and it’s like they just didn’t care,” Gray added.
Both Torres and Gray said they’re concerned about an increase in crime.
“It’s constantly over drug issues or some kind of violence, and I mean, with all the kids around here, something does need to be done,” Gray told Eyewitness News.
Police said three stolen weapons were recovered from the two suspects involved.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Wilkes-Barre City Police Department.