BERWICK, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— State troopers have a man in custody they say is a suspect in a mass casualty incident in Columbia County as well as an assault that left one woman dead in Luzerne County.
State troopers have charged Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, a 24-year-old male from Nescopeck, with killing two people and sending 17 others to the hospital with injuries on August 13.
State Trooper Anthony Petroski said 18 people were hit by a vehicle while gathered at the Intoxicology Department bar in Berwick at a fundraiser for the families of the 10 people who died in a house fire earlier this month. According to Petroski, the crash left one person dead and sent 17 people to the hospital.
The affidavit identified 50-year-old Rebecca L. Reese as the person who died on the scene.
The criminal complaint and affidavit said Sura Reyes got into an argument with his mother in Nescopeck Borough. Following the argument, Sura Reyes left his residence and drove his vehicle to Berwick.
Police say Sura Reyes told them he drove past the Intoxicology Department bar towards Turkey Hill, turned right, and headed back to the bar to drive through the crowd of people. Sura Reyes went on to tell interviewers he was tired of fighting with his mother and wanted it to be done with.
According to the affidavit, Sura Reyes told officers, “I didn’t ram ’em, I just ran them over.”
As of 1:45 p.m. August 15, a representative from Geisinger provided this update on 15 of the 17 patients:
- 5 patients are being treated at Geisinger Medical Center Danville
- 1 are in critical condition
- 4 are in fair condition
- 7 have been treated and released
- 1 patient has been treated and released from Geisinger Bloomsburg Hospital
- 2 patients have been treated and released from Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center
Shortly after the crash, Pennsylvania State Police said they received a call for a male that was physically assaulting a female. Upon arriving on the scene, troopers found Rosa Reyes, the suspect’s mother, deceased on scene and Reyes in police custody.
Officials said Sura Reyes traveled back to his home in Nescopeck after driving through the crowd of people. When he arrived home, Sura Reyes saw his mother outside in the street.
Troopers said Sura Reyes told them he accelerated towards his mom and crashed into her with the front of his vehicle.
Police say Sura Reyes continued to tell investigators that he obtained a hammer from his vehicle and struck his mother in the head four to five times.
Investigators say Reyes faces two open counts of criminal homicide. He has been denied bail and is being held in the Columbia County Correctional Facility.
“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.”
Eyewitness News reporter Madonna Mantione got a first look at Reyes at 3:00 a.m. on Sunday.
When asked if he had any comment on the situation he responded, “Sorry, I’m sorry.”
Anyone with surveillance video or still images of the crash into the crowd is asked to send them to Pennsylvania State Police in Shickshinny barracks, Pennsylvania State Police Bloomsburg barracks, or call 911 and say you have surveillance video or images of the Berwick incident.
“Among a sea of people and commotion, there is a heavy law enforcement presence, including state police forensics and reconstruction units, and a heavy first responder presence, too,” Mantione said.
Mantione was able to speak with a local pastor who decided to help the best way he knew how after he heard about the chaos.
“Well, I was home barbecuing actually and began receiving messages from folks at my church that this was taking place so I thought they might need some spiritual support considering what’s happened here,” said Pastor Brad Iverson from the Berwick Bible Church. “They need help and so I just thought I’d come down to see if there was something I could do.”
The Intoxicology Department bar, where the crash happened, announced they will be closed until further notice.
This is a developing story, Eyewitness News will update this article as more information is released.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.