Wilkes-Barre drive-by shooting suspect arrested

James Halpin, The Citizens' Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa.
·2 min read

Apr. 13—A Wilkes-Barre man wanted in connection with a drive-by shooting that injured his girlfriend's brother has been arrested.

Marquis S. Ford, 36, was arraigned Tuesday morning on charges of aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and criminal mischief. Magisterial District Judge Rick Cronauer set bail at $200,000 and sent Ford to the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with a preliminary hearing scheduled for April 27.

Ford had been wanted on a warrant issued March 22 charging him with shooting Johnny Gunter, 31, of Nanticoke, who was hit in the abdomen, right forearm and right thigh.

Police said Ford and his girlfriend, Starneesha M. Richardson-Gunter, 31, targeted Gunter — who is Richardson-Gunter's brother — in retaliation for him allegedly stabbing Ford during an altercation in Nanticoke in October 2019.

Gunter, who is awaiting trial on aggravated assault charges in that case, appeared at Luzerne County Central Court the afternoon of March 10, but the hearing was continued because Ford never showed up, police said.

Gunter, who is free on $10,000 unsecured bail, took an Uber to 11 Lynch Lane after his court appearance. A witness told police she believed Ford and Richardson-Gunter followed him to Lynch Lane in Richardson-Gunter's 2019 Hyundai Tucson, according to the charges.

Gunter spoke with some neighbors for a few minutes before the Tucson pulled up and its passenger-side window then "exploded" in a burst of gunfire, police said.

Police allege the driver, identified as Ford, repeatedly shot Gunter with a 9mm pistol before his passenger, Richardson-Gunter, stopped him.

"That's enough," police quoted Richardson-Gunter as saying. "Let's go."

Police arrived to find Gunter lying on a sidewalk, with five 9mm shell casings strewn nearby.

Gunter was taken to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center where he underwent emergency surgery for his injuries.

In addition to Ford, police also charged Richardson-Gunter with aggravated assault and criminal conspiracy.

She is being held without bail at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility with a preliminary hearing set for May 6.

Contact the writer: jhalpin@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2058