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Family Demands Answers After Black Man Is Fatally Shot While Camping

Photo: Getty Images

A Pennsylvania family is seeking answers after their loved one was shot dead while on a camping trip with his co-workers last month.

According to Pennsylvania State Police, 29-year-old Peter Bernado Spencer was shot nine times on December 12 around 2:30 a.m. at a residence in a rural part of the state.

Spencer’s family is describing his killing as a “modern-day lynching” and demand answers after four people who were at the residence were detained but not arrested.

“He was the only Black individual at that camp site and is being portrayed as the aggressor,” Spencer’s fiancée, Carmela King wrote on a GoFundMe account page.

On another GoFundMe account, Peter’s sister, Tehilah Spencer, wrote that her brother was “MURDERED IN COLD BLOOD!” as a result of a hate crime in a “MODERN DAY LYNCHING.”

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

Officials said that they are awaiting ballistics data and a toxicology report which could take four to six weeks.

“Upon receipt 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.

Peter, an immigrant from Jamaica, worked in construction and contracting and was invited on the trip by a former coworker, Paul Jubas, the family’s lawyer said. He was the only Black man on the trip.

“This was something they would do from time to time,” Jubas said. “They would go out to the woods together and shoot guns … drink beer, have a good time.”

The family is calling for the evidence collected by the county coroner to be released to a private medical examiner, but has not done so, Jubas said. They are enlisting Dr. Cyril Wecht, who has worked on a number of high-profile cases including President John F. Kennedy and Elvis Presley.

“We’ve only received unacceptable answers that don’t make any sense,” Jubas said. “And now they’re stonewalling us. They are preventing us from having our medical examiner, the best medical examiner in the country, do his work. There is no reason for that.

Spencer’s mother, Icilda Spencer-Hunter told the local news outlet, she wants her son to get justice.

“I’m just trying to walk the walk and go through how the system works,” she said of the investigation. “He has to get justice. He has to get justice.”

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEoxGcXrogo?feature=oembed]

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