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Suspect beat mother to death with hammer after killing 1, injuring 17 others with car at benefit for Nescopeck fire victims: police

Suspect killed mother after plowing car into crowd at benefit for fire victims, police say
Suspect killed mother after plowing car into crowd at benefit for fire victims, police say 02:12

BERWICK, Pa. (CBS/AP) — Tragedy in North Central Pennsylvania. A man is in custody Sunday night after he allegedly plowed his car into a crowd of people at a Berwick bar.

Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, 24, is the man in custody for the incident. He was arraigned early Sunday morning on two counts of criminal homicide.

That group was raising money for the victims of a deadly fire.

Police described the scene as a mass casualty incident. One person was killed and 17 others were injured in that crash. While some of them were already released from the hospital Monday, five remain in critical condition.

But the mayhem didn't stop there. The suspect's own mother is among casualties in Nescopeck and Berwick tragedies

A short time later after the crash, Pennsylvania State Police say they received a call about a male suspect who was physically assaulting a woman in the Nescopeck Borough of Luzerne County. 

State troopers arrived to find the woman dead and Sura Reyes detained by officers from a municipal police department, according to a release.


Luzerne County Coroner Francis Hacken confirmed Sunday that the victim, Rosa D. Reyes, 56, of Nescopeck — dead of multiple traumatic injuries after being struck by a vehicle and then assaulted with a hammer — was the mother of suspect Sura Reyes.

Authorities determined that Sura Reyes was also the suspect in the Berwick crash.

The group in the Berwick crash was raising money for the victims of the deadly fire in Nescopeck.

Police say Sura Reyes mowed down a dozen and a half people with his car around 6:30 p.m. Saturday and killed one.

A series of deadly events started with a fight between Reyes and his mother at their home in Nescopeck, according to arrest papers.

Police claim Sura Reyes left home and arrived outside a bar in Berwick where a benefit for the 10 victims of a fire was being held.

Eyewitnesses told reporters Sura Reyes floored it and accelerated at a high rate of speed before slamming into people.

Arrest papers claim Sura Reyes told detectives "I didn't ram them. I just ran them over."

It's alleged that Sura Reyes drove around the bar before driving through the crowd.

Trooper Anthony Petroski III told reporters at a midnight news conference that Sura Reyes was not currently a suspect in the fire, the cause of which remains under investigation.

"This is a complete tragedy in a community where there's already been tragedy," Petroski said. "We are going to do our job to the best of our abilities to conduct a thorough investigation not only for the families but the community members. They're already hurting."

Sura Reyes was denied bail and is being held in the Columbia County correctional facility.

The motive for both incidents remains unclear.

The first funerals for victims of the fire were held Friday, and more were scheduled for Sunday and Monday.

On Sunday night, about two dozen people gathered in Berwick for a vigil to remember the toll of loss now gripping the community in back to back weekends. 

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