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Police Say Facebook Disput Lead To East Mountain Gun Incident

December 30, 2018
Police: 20-year-old Man Shot Teen After Facebook Fight

Scranton police are looking for a 20-year-old man accused of shooting a 17-year-old man over a social media dispute on Friday in East Mountain.

Philip Lynott, 101 Woodside Manor, Scranton, is charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, making terroristic threats and related charges after he shot the victim — whom police declined to identify — in the right shoulder when he arrived at Lynott’s apartment to fight him, police said.

Lynott and the victim had sent threatening messages to each other on Facebook, but Lynott “took it too far” when he told the victim that he had found his address using the social media platform Snapchat and threatened to shoot him and his family at their home, Detective Christian Gowarty wrote in a criminal complaint.

In response, the victim asked for Lynott’s address so the two could fight. Lynott gave him his address, and the victim’s friend drove him to the apartment complex, the victim told police. Lynott approached the car, and when the victim got out, Lynott pulled out a handgun and pointed it at him, police said.

He put his hands up and got back in the car while Lynott continued yelling, and when the victim’s friend tried to drive away, Lynott fired the gun several times, hitting the victim in the shoulder, he told police.

The victim’s friend immediately drove him to Moses Taylor Hospital, according to the complaint.

The injury was not life threatening, city Police Chief Carl Graziano said.

Officers responded to 302 Hillside Manor at 8:44 p.m. for a report of shots fired, finding numerous bullet casings in the parking lot, according to the complaint. Police then spoke to Lynott’s cousin, Patrick Johnson, on the scene.

He told authorities that earlier in the day, Lynott had told him he was worried about the victim and possibly others coming to the apartment to fight him, but Johnson reassured him it was only a Facebook fight.

That night, Johnson saw the victim and another male sitting in a silver sedan, and Lynott walked outside with his hood up and his face down “in a menacing way,” he told police. He watched the victim step out of the car and begin yelling at Lynott before hearing gunshots and ducking for cover behind a car. When he got up, he realized Lynott had fled, according to the complaint.

Joseph Lynott, Philip Lynott’s brother, showed police a message from his brother saying he hid the gun in a tractor-trailer in the woods. Neither Joseph Lynott nor police could find the gun.

Officers searched a gun safe in the apartment, and Johnson confirmed that one of his handguns was missing.

Authorities were still searching for Lynott as of Saturday, and according to detectives, Lynott had stopped communicating with family via phone.

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