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State Police: “How They Find Pottsville … I Don’t Know”

woodys bar sign

In the first few hours after a wild shootout at Woody’s Bar in Pottsville Saturday morning, State Police Lieutenant Scott Brennan shared a wonder with a lot of people lately.

He was asked by a reporter on the scene what prompted the fight that ended in gunfire and 4 people injured. Brennan isn’t sure.

In fact, he isn’t even sure how the people involved found themselves at a Peacock Street bar at last call.

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He said, “Some of them aren’t locals, Philadelphia and some other places … How they find Pottsville, I don’t know.

Peacock Street Shooting Participants Not Local

We still only know the names of two people involved in last weekend’s shootout.

Police have charged 28-year-old Gerald Barrow with 2 counts of attempted homicide on top of a list of other charges. They’ve also got 25-year-old Malik Stevens on felony aggravated assault charges.

Another shooter involved in Saturday’s fracas hasn’t been identified and no other court records have been filed in this case so far. And the two people hit by crossfire that night haven’t been named.

Gerald Barrow

Barrow is in Schuylkill County Prison. Stevens and the unnamed third shooter haven’t been arraigned.

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We checked into the records on Barrow and Stevens to corroborate what Lt. Brennan says in that interview aired on WBRE-TV.

Barrow has a Minersville address. The only public court records tied to him show him getting hit with numerous summary traffic violations in 2019. Charges were filed against him last year in Berks and Montgomery counties.

Malik Stevens

Stevens currently has a Pottsville address. However, a previous court record from 2018 shows him with a Bronx, NY, address.

Stevens was arrested by Pottsville PD on Sept. 25, 2018, following a traffic incident in which he was charged with, among others:

  • Driving on the sidewalk
  • Running a red light
  • Eluding police
  • Driving without a license
  • Driving an unregistered vehicle
  • Driving without headlights

On April 24, Stevens was sentenced to a year of probation.

Third Shooter

We’re still waiting to learn the identity of and the charges filed against a third shooter from Saturday morning’s incident on Peacock Street. Is he also from outside the area?

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State Police and the Schuylkill County District Attorney continue their investigation into the shooting.

What we know so far is that Barrow and the unnamed shooter were involved in a fight that spilled out the back of and then, eventually, back into Woody’s Bar and Backyard Paradise in Pottsville.

During the fight, Barrow and the unnamed shooter drew their guns and began shooting. Barrow dropped the other shooter with hits to his torso. That’s when Stevens jumped in, grabbed the gun from the unnamed shooter and tried to fire back at Barrow. Barrow retreated back into the bar but continued to fire out at Stevens.

That’s when a Pottsville police officer showed up at the scene and fired his weapon, missing Barrow but bringing an end to the situation.

Why Pottsville?

People are free to go wherever they want to go, wherever they can get, really. But usually, people go somewhere for a reason. There’s a motive or an attraction that brings people to an area. Conversely, as we’ve seen here over the years, Pottsville tends to have a lot of qualities that shoo people away more than draw them in.

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So, in this case, what’s the draw? Woody’s isn’t exactly on a walking tour of the downtown. If you’re not from here, why would you be there at 2 a.m. on a Saturday carrying a gun?

The investigation into the shooting on Peacock Street likely won’t answer the question Lt. Brennan and many others wonder: How these guys find Pottsville.


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