West Elizabeth community rattled by deadly shooting outside nearby bar

WEST ELIZABETH, Pa. — Beer Belly’s Bar in West Elizabeth was closed for business Sunday several hours after a double shooting.

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Neighbors who live behind the bar are rattled by the violence there that turned deadly Saturday night.

“It’s a shame that it happened. It’s too close to home,” said Laura Kibe, a neighbor.

Patty Perdue lives down the street from the bar.

“I was shocked,” Perdue said. “I can’t believe something like this around this area happened because it’s always quiet around here.”

That peace instead was filled with sirens and Elizabeth Township Police cars that surrounded the bar on 5th Street just after 10:30 pm.

“I woke up last night, saw the police out here....That’s when I figured something had happened,” said one man who didn’t want to be identified.

Investigators said Jacob Snyder, 26, shot two men in the patio area at Beer Belly’s, hurting one and killing Edward Gibson, 36.

“It’s sad; it’s really sad,” said a neighbor who said he knew Gibson’s dad. “I feel deeply for his family and him, for the loss.”

According to the criminal complaint, Snyder ran off and eventually ended up at a Dollar General about a mile and a half away in Jefferson Hills.

Snyder’s brother, who was waiting for him in the parking lot, convinced Snyder to turn himself in. He was arrested moments later.

Laura Kibe, who’s lived a few doors down from Beer Belly’s Bar for more than two decades, said she’s never heard of any problems there.

“It’s a very friendly bar but there’s just too much riff-raff,” Kibe said. “Years ago, this was a very good neighborhood. I guess the times now, it’s getting bad.”

One neighbor believes the bar is a hub for illegal activity.

“I’ve watched drugs being dealt right out here in front of the house,” the man said. “It needs to be shut down, in my opinion. LCB needs to shut it down.”

Just a few hours after the shooting, detectives said they found the pistol used in the crime at the suspect’s friend’s house. They said that the gun belonged to Snyder.

Snyder remains behind bars in the Allegheny County Jail. He’s facing several charges, including criminal homicide, attempted homicide and aggravated assault.

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