Shooting at Mulligan’s leads to debate in senior event

Abbey Haldeman, Assistant News Editor

A recent shooting at a downtown establishment leads to concern for seniors participating in an organized event.

According to police reports, officers Conmy and Ference responded to the disturbances coming from the rear of Mulligan’s Irish Pub at 41 S. Main St. around 1:58 a.m. on Nov. 9.

Ference  called for back up due to a shooting inside the bar with at least one known victim at the time. When the arrived they would find that there were actually two victims at the scene of the crime.

Anthony Rossi, a security employee of Mulligan’s, suffered a gunshot wound to his right upper thigh and was taken from the scene by Wilkes-Barre paramedics to a local hospital.

Joseph Rutkoski, also a security employee with Mulligan’s suffered abrasions to his groin area, possibly from a bullet.

Police were directed to a nearby gold Chevrolet Impala, where two black males were found. One of the men was pointed out by many witnesses, including Shawn Butterfield, a Mulligan’s bouncer, as being involved in the shooting.

Conmy ordered both of the men out of the vehicle by gunpoint. They were put into handcuffs and detained by both Conmy and Ference. Arrest reports say police got a search warrant for the vehicle and located a 9mm pistol inside of it.

The original 911 complaints identified the shooter as a black male wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt with yellow letters on the front. Stefen Smith was wearing a black-hooded sweatshirt with the letters “PITT’ in yellow on the front.

Both Stefen and brother Cleve, of Scott Street, Wilkes-Barre, were identified as being involved in the shooting by several eyewitnesses.

When Stefen, 21, was questioned, he told investigators that a fight had broken out and he was being assaulted by a group of men inside of Mulligan’s when he fired his gun to “make space,” arrest papers say.

Senior class vice president, John Sweeney, had organized a “Pub Crawl” as an event for the senior class to participate in Saturday evening, the day following the incident. They chose to continue with the pub as a stop for the event.

“The decision to leave Mulligan’s on the senior event was after careful assessment of the safety of students participating,” Sweeney said. “Based on news stories, the shooting appeared to be an isolated event and all involved were taken into custody. However, the main reason we felt it was acceptable to leave Mulligan’s on the tour was because of a conversation I had with manager. He assured me that there would be four extra security guards at the door alone and anyone who appeared suspicious would be turned away.”

While attempts were made to contact the manager, no responses were given.

Sweeney would later add that in his conversation with the manager, he stated that Mulligan’s was taking the issue seriously and were hoping to avoid any negative reputations.

Sweeney also said that students were told about the safety precautions being put into place but were not pressured to make that stop and most, in fact, chose to skip that stop.

According to police reports, Stefen was charged with aggravated assault, simple assault and recklessly endangering another person remains in jail on a $750,000 cash bail.