Berwick, PA – A 24-year-old suspect who became enraged after an argument with his mother intentionally crashed his vehicle into a group of people gathered for a fundraiser on Saturday evening, killing one person and injuring 17 more, according to police.
Investigators said the suspect, 24-year-old Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, subsequently returned home to Nescopeck and hit his mother with his vehicle before beating her to death with a hammer, the Pocono Record reported.
Police said series of attacks began after Sura Reyes got into an argument with his mother at their home in Nescopeck on the evening of Aug. 13.
According to court documents, police said Sura Reyes was “extremely frustrated” after the argument and that he said he was “tired of fighting with his mother, including about money, and wanted to be done with it,” the Pocono Record reported.
Meanwhile, a crowd of approximately 75 people had gathered at the Intoxicology Department bar and restaurant on West 2nd Street in Berwick for a day-long fundraising event held to help raise money for the victims of a deadly fire, WNEP reported.
The fire, which occurred on Aug. 5, killed three children and seven adults, according to the Pocono Record.
Shortly after 6 p.m. on Saturday, Sura Reyes drove past the parking lot where the fundraiser was being held, according to police.
Families with children were among those in attendance, the Pocono Record reported.
Police said Sura Reyes told them he turned around after he drove past the group so he could go “drive through the crowd of people,” according to court documents.
He allegedly told investigators he was “speeding up” as he plowed into the crowd, the Pocono Record reported.
“I didn’t ram ‘em, I just ran them over,” Sura Reyes allegedly told police, according to CNN.
Investigators said the attack was captured on video, the Pocono Record reported.
“Video surveillance gathered by the Pennsylvania State Police corroborates Sura Reyes’s statement that he sped up into the crowd purposefully,” court documents read.
One victim died as a result of the attack.
She has been identified as Rebecca Reese, The Washington Post reported.
Another 17 people were injured, including five who were listed in critical condition and three who were listed in fair condition, according to the Pocono Record.
Seven of those who were injured have been released from local hospitals to continue their recoveries at home.
A memorial now stands outside Intoxicology Department Bar on West 2nd Street in Berwick. It’s where a man killed one person and injured 17 Saturday as he drove his car into a crowd gathered for a fundraiser benefitting the victims of last week’s deadly Nescopeck fire. pic.twitter.com/Y4xadxxoAb
— Madonna Mantione (@MadonnaWBREWYOU) August 14, 2022
As police were responding to the horrific scene outside the Intoxicology Department, PSP troopers received a report about a man who was “physically assaulting” a woman in Nescopeck, which is approximately two miles away from the scene in a neighboring county, the Pocono Record reported.
Troopers arrived to find the female victim dead, according to CNN.
According to Luzerne County Coroner Francis Hacken, the 56-year-old victim, Rosa Reyes, had been hit by a vehicle and bludgeoned with a hammer, the Pocono Record reported.
Reyes died of multiple traumatic injuries, Hacken concluded.
Investigators confirmed she was Sura Reyes’ mother, the Pocono Record reported.
Sura Reyes was taken into custody outside his home, according to WNEP.
According to court documents, Sura Reyes told police that he saw his mother out in the street when he came home after leaving the scene of the attack outside the Intoxicology Department, so he plowed into her with his vehicle, the Pocono Record reported.
The suspect allegedly told investigators he then got out of his car and bashed his mother multiple times with a hammer.
Sura Reyes was arrested on two counts of criminal homicide.
He was arraigned early on Sunday and his preliminary hearing was set for Aug. 29, the Pocono Record reported.
This is the man State Police say drove a car into the crowd of people at a fundraiser in Berwick for the victims of last Friday’s deadly fire in Nescopeck. He was later arrested at a home in Nescopeck where a woman was found dead. His name is being released shortly. pic.twitter.com/wgNk2gXgE8
— Chelsea Strub (@chelseastrub) August 14, 2022
PSP Trooper Anthony Petroski said both investigations were still “very active.”
“This is a complete tragedy in a community where there’s already been tragedy,” he said during a press conference, according to The Washington Post. “We are going to do our job to the best of our abilities to conduct a thorough investigation not only for the families but for the community members.”
The PSP Troop N Major Case Team and the Columbia County District Attorney’s Office are handling the investigation into the mass casualty crash, the Pocono Record reported.
The Intoxicology Department released a statement on Facebook on Saturday night, calling the attack “an absolute tragedy.”
The business said it will remain closed indefinitely.
“We will be closed until further notice,” the statement read. “Please respect our privacy while we grieve and try to process the events that occurred. Thank you.”