Reward for information doubled by anonymous donor after Edwardsville homicide

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EDWARDSVILLE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — State Troopers say they are working several leads in the shooting death of 29-year-old John Robert Evans in Edwardsville over the weekend, a reward in the case has been doubled plus Evans’ family is pleading for justice.

State Troopers say they are confident that somebody out there can provide the information needed to help get a killer off the street.

“Well we’re still conducting interviews and we feel somebody out there they may have information; 50 to 60 people at a party in an adjacent lot to where the shooting occurred,” said Trooper Deanna Piekanski, State Police, Wyoming Headquarters.

29-year-old John Robert Evans was shot to death while he sat in the drivers’ seat of an SUV in a parking lot at Hill Top Apartments in Edwardsville early Saturday morning. 26-year-old Eli Quadree Smith, who was sitting in the passenger front seat was wounded. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries. State troopers say a man walked up to the vehicle, which was running, talked briefly with Evans… and then fired 12 shots into the driver’s side of the vehicle. Evans died at the scene. The gunman fled the area as did party goers before the police arrived on the scene.

“The party was adjacent to the parking lot. We do not believe our victims were part of the party or planning on attending the party. However, with a large gathering of that many people in such close proximity of 12 gunshots going off we felt someone heard or saw something and we’d appreciate if that person comes forward,” said Trooper Edward Urban, State Police, Wyoming Headquarters.

Troopers say bystanders and nearby residents could have been injured or killed.

“Someone who’s not afraid to fire 12 shots into a vehicle in an apartment complex that’s occupied by families and children and other people who could have been collateral damage it’s important to get that person off the street,” said Urban.

And Wednesday afternoon, Evan’s mother made an emotional plea for justice for her son.

“Please come forward if you have any information on what happened, please come don’t be scared,” said Heather Evans, mother of the victim.

Also Wednesday, an anonymous donor gave an additional $2,000 toward a reward for information that leads to an arrest. Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers our up $2,000 on Tuesday. The total reward is now $4,000.

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