Suspicious Scranton death ruled homicide

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SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — On Thursday, 28/22 News learned a man found shot to death Wednesday in Scranton is now officially a homicide.

Police told 28/22 News that the man is 36-year-old Benjamin Thompson.

The Scranton Police Department was called to the 1800 block of Jackson Street Tuesday for a death investigation that has now been ruled a homicide.

The call came in around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday for a car that crashed into a parked vehicle.

Inside of the car that crashed, police say they found 36-year-old Benjamin Thompson shot and unresponsive. Thompson later died at the Geisinger Emergency Department early Wednesday morning.

An autopsy was conducted and ruled Thopmson’s death as a homicide.

Thompson’s death is the latest in an escalating series of violent crimes, leaving many fearful to walk in their neighborhoods.

On Thursday, 28/22 News heard from Scranton’s mayor about what the city is doing to combat the issue.

With an increase in violent crimes over the past few months, the sense of security for Scranton’s residents has been severely shaken.

In response to these rising concerns, 28/22 News Reporter Kathryn Oleary sat down with Scranton Mayor Cognetti and she shared the people of Scranton’s fears

“We absolutely have had violence tick up in Scranton that is something that scares all of us, it is scary,” Mayor Cognetti said.

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Mayor Cognetti says the city is listening and wants residents to know how hard their police department is working to combat this uptick.

“They are able to arrest the perpetrators of this violence almost 100% of the time, it’s incredible what they’re able to do, and how much they know about the folks that tend to commit these crimes,” Mayor Cognetti explained.

Emphasizing Scranton is heavily investing in making sure cops are on the street.

“I have my daughter with me today, this is a family town and we want it to be safe for families,” Mayor Cognetti continued.

Mayor cognetti also highlighted to 28/22 news the city’s commitment to a coordinated law enforcement effort, to crack down on this violent crime surge.

“We’re really focused on the police response and the justice response, we work all day every day alongside the DA’s office, alongside PSP, our federal partners are always here. That cross-collaboration between all the levels of law enforcement is there,” Mayor Cognetti added.

The mayor wants to remind everyone policing is just one part of the solution.

“We’re starting to engage the youth themselves more and more which is helpful and put together the types of programming and just connect to families to tell them what the types of programming are out there, that’s a lot of what we’re doing with this youth and engagement council is that a lot of these different programs do exist it’s about making sure kids and families know about them,” said Mayor Cognetti.

Oleary also asked Mayor Cognetti how the public could help.

She said that we need to be a community that continues to talk to each other and raise a hand for help.

The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to contact the Scranton Police at 570-348-4134.

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