Black Main Street
Current EventsNews

Family of Black Man Shot 9 Times While on Camping Trip Calls His Death a ‘Modern-Day Lynching’

The family of a Black man who was shot and killed while on a camping trip last month is calling his death a ‘modern-day lynching.’

Peter Bernardo Spencer, a 29-year-old Jamaican immigrant, was shot to death at a cabin in rural Pennsylvania last month after accepting an invitation to the cabin from a former coworker.

Around 2:30 a.m. on Dec 12, Pennsylvania State Police were called to the cabin located in Rockland Township, Venango County. They found Spencer dead on the front lawn with multiple gunshot wounds. Police say there were four other people at the cabin when they arrived – Spencer’s former coworker, who had invited him, as well as two other men and one woman, all of whom are White. 

According to a statement released by police, all four people were detained and questioned, but after consulting with the Venango County District Attorney’s Office, they were released. 

 “The four individuals who were present at the time of the shooting were questioned and released after consultation with the Venango County district attorney,” police said in a statement.

In the cabin, police found multiple firearms, “ballistic evidence,” and controlled substances. But after six weeks, no one has been charged with a crime and Spencer’s family still doesn’t know why he was killed. 

According to William Anderson, chair of the Allegheny County Democratic Black Caucus, the former coworker who invited Spencer to the cabin admitted to shooting him and is claiming self-defense. 

The Venango County coroner found that Spencer had been shot nine times. Well-known pathologist Cyril Wecht, who is advising the family, studied the autopsy and believes many of the bullets entered Spencer’s body from behind.

“My initial thought is that it’s absurd to talk about self-defense with nine gunshot wounds,” Wecht told The Inquirer.

Officials are asking for patience as investigators await ballistics data and toxicology and laboratory test results.

Venango County District Attorney Shawn White said Tuesday that while he recognizes the family’s push for information, his office must conduct a thorough investigation.

The reports are expected to be completed and submitted within four to six weeks, he said. “Upon receipts of these reports, the district attorney will review all available information prior to making a charging decision,” the DA’s office said in a statement.

Spencer’s loved ones, including his brother, Tehilah, and his fiancée, Carmela King, have expressed frustration.

“He was the only black individual at the campsite and is being portrayed as the aggressor,” King wrote on a GoFundMe account. Tehilah Spencer said his brother was “MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD!” during a hate crime in a “MODERN DAY LYNCHING” on another GoFundMe account.

Spencer’s family has set up a GoFundMe account, seeking financial assistance in order to higher a private investigator. 

Related posts

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.