Candlelight Vigil Held For Caribbean Immigrant Killed in Alleged Modern Day Lynching

jamaican-immigrant-peter-spencer
Jamaican immigrant Peter Bernado Spencer, 29, was shot nine times, once in the mouth, twice in his buttocks, and six times in the chest and abdomen.
20% off Lancôme. Limited time, online only. Valid: 6/20-6/26.

By NAN STAFF WRITER

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. 8, 2022: It’s been 58 days since Caribbean immigrant Peter “Bernardo” Spencer was shot and killed in Venango County, Pennsylvania in what his family has called a “modern day lynching.” But to date, no one has been charged with his murder.

On Sunday evening, friends and family of the 29-year-old Jamaican held a candlelight vigil in his memory in Highland Park in Pittsburgh.

Those close to Spencer shared memories of his legacy and called for justice in the investigation into his death. Supporters lit candles and lanterns, and garnered support for Spencer’s fiancée, Carmela King, and their unborn child through donations via the GoFundMe that has raised just over $46,000 to date.

Spencer was shot and killed in rural Venango County on Dec. 12, 2021, while on a camping trip with 3 white males and a white female.

According to his sister Tehilah Spencer, writing on GoFundMe, her brother went to go hunting and camping with, a white man whom he met at a previous job.

She said the white man brought his own friends – 3 white males and his girlfriend, a white female.

Peter Spencer, who migrated to the US in 2013, was the lone black in the group. He was dropped off by his fiancée King.

King said she received a text shortly afterward to say he was staying the night.  But at 2.30 a.m. on December 12, Franklin police were called to the cabin at 279 Carls Road in Rockland Township and found the Jamaican immigrant from Allegheny County dead at the scene.

Paul Jubas, an attorney for the Spencer family, said he is not surprised that Spencer would have accepted an invitation, even though family members said he was the only Black man at the camp.

“He was an outdoorsman and he loved nature. He loved being in nature. He loved being among the animals of nature. This is something he would regularly do. It’s exactly why he would have been out there,” Jubas said.

Spencer was fatally shot nine times, including multiple gunshots to his back. PA police said they found multiple guns and drugs at the scene of the cabin and detained and questioned four people, including a 25-year-old white man they called a suspect. But all four were released from custody and to date, remain free as no charges have been filed.

Spencer’s killing has captured international attention, including in Jamaica and the Jamaican Diaspora, and prompted outrage from Caribbean American and Black leaders who are concerned the murder may have been racially motivated.

His family’s attorney wants the FBI/Department of Justice to get involved in the investigation and provide transparency. The family also wants the Venango County district attorney to refer the case to Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro and for the Venango County coroner to turn over all photos and other pertinent information to forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht.

Venango County District Attorney Shawn White said he is doing what he can and on Jan. 19th, said he expects the autopsy report in three to four weeks. No word so far on when that report will be released.

State police say they continue to investigate the case.