No Charges In Shooting Death Of Black Man Who Went Camping With Coworkers


Photo: GoFundMe website organized by Carmela King

The white man who fatally shot his Black coworker while out on a camping trip in rural Pennsylvania will not face any charges. The district attorney says it would be hard to prove the fatal shooting of Peter Spencer wasn't in self-defense.

"We believe in this case that there is enough evidence presented for self-defense that we are not going to be able to overcome our burden and show this was not self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt," District Attorney Shawn White announced Tuesday (March 15), ABC News reported.

"For that reason, there will be no charges filed against the suspect in this case," White continued, adding, "This is my call, I believe it's the right one."

Peter Spencer was a Jamaican immigrant engaged to be married and was expected to be a new father. On December 11, 2021, Spencer attended a camping trip with his white coworker to the Rockland Township in the western part of the state. Police were called a few hours into the trip in the early hours of December 12, and Spencer was found shot to death in the front lawn of a cabin. Spencer had nine bullet wounds on his body, including six in his chest.

The coworker claims Spencer had been using hallucinogenic mushrooms and began "acting crazy" and fired multiple shots of an AK-47 he'd brought with him on the trip. District Attorney White says that Spencer was "not ambushed" and had ordered others at the campsite to stay at gunpoint. That's when Spencer's coworker shot him.

Multiple weapons, "ballistic evidence" and controlled substances were found at the scene, State Police said.

The case was brought to the Heritage Affairs Team which investigates crimes for racial motivation, hate and bias. That office's liaison, Corp. Aaron Allen, said they would not be filing charges either, because "there's not been any sort of hate and/or bias detected."

Spencer's family said they will continue to pursue justice despite the announcement.

"We are not surprised by it, this is the type of behavior we have seen from the PA State Police and Venango County District Attorney from the outset," Spencer family attorney Paul Jubas said in a statement.

Though no state charges are being filed, federal hate crime charges are still a possibility. US Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania Cindy Chung will make that decision.

The family is set to hold a press conference alongside independent forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht to discuss what's next.

They set up a GoFundMe page to cover funeral expenses.

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