ERIE, Pa. – A birthday celebration at an Erie nightclub turned deadly when Shannon D. Goodwin, 23, pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and shooting his uncle during a fatal shooting at the Metroplex on Buffalo Road. The incident occurred on Dec. 30, 2022, during Goodwin’s mother’s private birthday party, resulting in the tragic death of Steve Smith III. Goodwin’s actions also injured his uncle as he attempted to intervene in a confrontation between Goodwin and Smith.
Goodwin’s guilty plea has spared him from the possibility of a mandatory life sentence, which he would have faced if convicted of first-degree murder. However, he still faces up to 67 years in state prison and is set to be sentenced on April 23. In addition to third-degree murder, Goodwin also pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and carrying a firearm without a license. The plea deal did not include a sentencing recommendation.
The prosecution dropped seven of the charges as part of the plea bargain, including counts of aggravated assault and recklessly endangering another person. The courtroom was filled with relatives and friends of both Goodwin and Smith at the plea hearing, all of whom will have the opportunity to speak at the sentencing.
The fatal shooting was the result of a confrontation that began with a fight over the sale of a broken PlayStation videogame console. As the altercation escalated, Goodwin, upset about the disturbance during his mother’s celebration, threw a chair, which hit Smith. The situation further intensified when Smith approached Goodwin and a physical altercation broke out, leading to Goodwin firing a gun, injuring his uncle and fatally shooting Smith.
With evidence demonstrating that Goodwin’s actions were intentional, the District Attorney’s Office offered the plea deal after consulting with Smith’s family. Goodwin’s lawyer acknowledged that his client was unaware that his license to carry the handgun had lapsed, contributing to the tragic incident.
Despite the guilty plea and forthcoming sentencing, the events that transpired at the Metroplex continue to be a devastating reminder of the consequences of violence, leaving behind a family and community in mourning.