AP NEWS

Police: Castle Club Shooting Likely Involved More Than One Gunman

May 14, 2019

SCRANTON — The shooting outside a North Scranton after-hours club that left one man dead and two others wounded early on Mother’s Day is believed to have involved more than one gunman, police said Monday.

As investigators interviewed additional witnesses to the incident Sunday morning outside the Castle club, Police Chief Carl Graziano huddled with Lackawanna County District Attorney Mark Powell and First Assistant District Attorney Judy Price for more than 90 minutes to review what police had learned so far.

No charges have been filed.

“It continues to be under active investigation,” Powell said after the meeting.

Parker D. Palermo, 20, was killed in the shooting, which happened about 100 feet south of the club in the 1800 block of North Main Avenue just after the establishment closed at 5 a.m.

Police continued to withhold the identities of the two injured men, both of whom remained hospitalized — one in critical condition with a gunshot wound to the face and the other in stable condition with a wound to the shoulder.

Investigators have also not identified the man who shot them, although Graziano confirmed he is an out-of-state resident who frequents and has business ties in Luzerne County.

The chief said officers still have more witnesses to attempt to locate and interview and additional surveillance video they hope to review before investigators can begin to conclude whether the shooting was justified.

“The district attorney doesn’t want to make a determination until all of the information we can possibly get is in,” Graziano said.

The police chief said investigators are looking at whether the shooting victims were armed, citing “indications there probably was more than one shooter.”

“Some of the evidence at the scene indicates that there is the likelihood of more than one gun being used,” Graziano said.

The shooter initially identified himself to police as a security worker for the club, but Castle owner Nasser Mohammadzad denied the man ever worked for him. Police said he was not working in that capacity Sunday morning.

The man, who was legally armed, provides or recommends security services to various bars and clubs, Graziano said.

“He didn’t serve as a security guard per se himself, but he has what he calls a security service that provides and recommends people for security services at various clubs, including this one (Castle) and others in Luzerne County,” the chief said.

Some of the individuals involved in Castle incident were at a controversial club in Wilkes-Barre — Ali Baba Liquor Lounge on South Main Street — prior to coming to the North Scranton establishment, Graziano said. He would not say which individuals they were.

Investigators confirmed Palermo is the son of Melinda Palermo, one of three defendants awaiting trial for the 2018 homicide in Scranton of confidential informant Nina Gatto.

Parker Palermo’s aunt, Melanie Davis of Clarks Summit, described her nephew as a “good kid” who had a big heart despite his less than ideal upbringing.

“He was always very, very loyal to his friends — to a fault — and I wish he wasn’t, really,” Davis said. “His friends would come calling and he would be gone.”

She said Palermo and his girlfriend were expecting a baby girl in a couple of months, and that seemed to motivate him to try to stay on the straight and narrow. He was “working here and there and doing well,” she said.

“That’s what was pushing him to do better,” Davis said. “That was a driving force behind him trying to turn things around.”

A candlelight memorial for Palermo will be conducted Wednesday evening at Nay Aug Park. The memorial, which will get underway at 8:30 p.m. at the pavilion near the ice cream stand, will include music and personal recollections of Palermo.

In a separate but related incident, a Scranton man faces assault charges after police say he tried to run down officers who were investigating Sunday’s shooting with his car.

Lucky Rayvon Gillyard, 24, 1302 Ash St., ignored police when officers asked people still in vehicles in the parking lot to exit their cars and move to the front of the building, according to the arrest affidavit.

Although ordered at gunpoint to stop, Gillyard instead sped in his car toward the front entrance of the lot and a crowd of club patrons and officers, police said. He rammed another car, and several officers had to move to avoid being hit.

Gillyard, who was eventually pulled from his car and handcuffed, was charged with multiple counts of aggravated assault by vehicle and other charges. He was jailed on $50,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing Monday at 10:45 a.m.

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dsingleton@timesshamrock.com;

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