The family of a Pittsburgh Black man, who was fatally shot nine times while on a camping trip a month ago in rural Pennsylvania, has voiced frustration with the handling of their son’s death by authorities and have called his death a modern-day ‘lynching,” according to NBC News.
Peter Bernando Spencer, the 29-year-old Black man, was shot multiple times on Dec. 12 at a residence in Rockland Township, Pennsylvania. Spencer was invited on the trip by a former co-worker and was the only Black man on the trip.
In a press release from Pennsylvania State Police, “The four individuals who were present at the time of the shooting were questioned and released after consultation with the Venango County district attorney.”
This is why relatives of Spencer have voiced frustration because people have been detained but no one has been charged or arrested.
The release also says, “Multiple firearms, ballistic evidence, controlled substances, and other items were seized from the scene. An autopsy was completed on Dec. 14, and the findings are pending toxicology and laboratory results.”
Investigators are also waiting on a ballistics report and plan on interviewing more people as they get more information.
This is not good enough for the family of Spencer which has created multiple GoFundMe accounts to request “Justice for Peter!” and assistance with his memorial.
On the account created by Peter’s fiancée, she wrote, “He was the only black individual at the campsite and is being portrayed as the aggressor. The Franklin state troopers office will not give Peter’s family nor myself any information regarding this incident. We have been turned away several times while trying to reach out for information regarding what happened.”
Tehilah Spencer, Peter’s brother on another GoFundMe account wrote, “MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD!” and says his murder is a “MODERN DAY LYNCHING!”
From NBC News:
The deadly shooting happened about 2:30 a.m., and “multiple firearms, ballistic evidence, controlled substances, were seized from the scene,” police said in a statement on Dec. 29. The department’s Heritage Affairs Section, which responds to hate and bias crimes, was notified, police said.
Spencer, an immigrant from Jamaica, worked in construction and contracting, said Paul Jubas, the family’s attorney.
Spencer was invited by a former colleague and was the only Black man on the camping trip, Jubas said.
“This was something they would do from time to time. They would go out to the woods together and shoot guns ... drink beer, have a good time,” he said.
The county coroner has not released evidence to a private medical examiner for Spencer’s family, Jubas said.
According to NBC News, Peter’s family wants information on his death given to Dr. Cyril Wecht, who has investigated other high-profile cases.
Wecht has been able to examine Peter’s body, but has not been able to look at many photos from the embalmer and none from the coroner and needs those autopsy photos before coming to a conclusion.
The only word they have received from Venango County Coroner Christina Rugh is that Spencer was shot nine times in the back, according to NBC News.
In a story from WPXI, Spencer’s family said he was known for feeding the homeless and playing basketball with neighborhood kids.
Peter Bernando Spencer’s family just wants to know why.