Two people have died and 17 have been injured after a man allegedly drove his car into a crowd and later killed his mother in a neighboring town in Pennsylvania.
State troopers arrested suspect Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes of Nescopeck in the Columbia County mass casualty incident on Saturday, WBRE/WYOU reported.
Police believe the same 24-year-old man is behind the Luzerne County assault that left a woman dead shortly after the Columbia County crash. The local outlet Press Enterprise reported that the woman was the suspect’s mother. He allegedly argued with her before fatally beating her.
State Trooper Anthony Petroski told the press that several people who had joined a fundraiser for the families of the 10 people who died in a Nescopeck fire were hit by a car around 6:15 p.m. Saturday.
Columbia County Coroner Jeremy Reese told Eyewitness News that one person, a 50-year-old woman, died at the scene. Her identity is being withheld pending family notification.
Not long after the crash, Pennsylvania State Police said they received a call about a man assaulting a woman. When they arrived at the separate scene, they found a deceased woman and Mr Reyes, who had been arrested by municipal police, WBRE/WYOU reported.
He faces two counts of murder, according to authorities. He is currently being held at the Columbia County Correctional Facility where bail has been denied.
Petroski did not confirm whether the crash into the crowd was intentional. The investigation into both incidents is ongoing.
Reporters first interacted with Reyes at 3 a.m. Sunday when he was placed in a vehicle outside the state police station in Shikshinny.
When asked for comment, he said, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” according to WBRE/WYOU.
“Amidst a sea of people and commotion, there is a heavy presence of law enforcement, including state police investigative and reconstruction units, and a heavy presence of first responders as well,” Eyewitness News reporter Madonna Mantione said Saturday night, according to WBRE/WYOU .
Pastor Brad Iverson of Berwick Bible Church told Eyewitness News that “I was at home having a barbecue and started getting messages from people at my church that this was taking place, so I thought they might need some spiritual support in terms of what has happened here”.
“They need help and so I just thought I’d come down to see if there was anything I could do,” he added.
The surrounding area near Center Street in Berwick was closed after the crash. The bar where the incident took place, the Narcotic Department, has said it will be closed until further notice.
Petroski said Reyes was not a suspect “at this time” in the Aug. 5 house fire in Nescopeck that killed 10 people, according to Time leader.
The department of toxicology said on Facebook that the accident “was an absolute tragedy. We are closed until further notice. Please respect our privacy while we grieve and try to process the events that have occurred. Thank you”.
Of the 17 people injured in the crash in Berwick, 12 were taken to Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, three were taken to Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, one was taken to Berwick Hospital, and one was taken to Geisinger Center in Bloomsburg, according to Time leader.
In Danville Saturday night, four people were in critical condition, three were in fair condition, and five were still being evaluated, the newspaper reported. One of those taken to Wyoming Valley has been treated and released from care.
Petroski said the crime scenes are both “very active.” He said there are “a lot of moving parts with both investigations,” according to the paper.