EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU)— Eyewitness News has condensed the information we currently have confirmed regarding the mass casualty incident in Berwick and the homicide in Nescopeck.
State troopers have taken Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes into custody for allegedly crashing his vehicle into 18 people in Berwick and killing his mother with a hammer in Nescopeck.
Investigators said Sura Reyes told them the incident began when he got into a verbal altercation with his mother prior to getting in his car and driving to the Intoxicology Department bar in Berwick.
While driving through Berwick, the affidavit states Sura Reyes told officers he saw a crowd of people gathering at the Intoxicology Department bar. Sura Reyes said he drove past Turkey Hill down the street and turned back around towards the bar.
“Frustrated” by the argument with his mother, investigators say Sura Reyes told them he began speeding up towards the crowd intentionally.
Troopers said video surveillance shows Sura Reyes’s vehicle entering the parking lot of the Intoxicology Department bar and accelerating towards about 75 people gathering to raise money for the victims of the Nescopeck fire on August 5.
The affidavit states the first phone calls about the crash came into 911 around 6:12 p.m. on August 13.
Police say Sura Reyes told interviewers, “I didn’t ram ’em, I just ran them over.”
State troopers tell Eyewitness News the crash injured 17 people and killed 50-year-ld Rebecca Reese of Wilkes-Barre.
Law enforcement officials said Sura Reyes told them he drove back to his home in Nescopeck, approximately six minutes away from the Intoxicology Department bar, after crashing into the crowd of people.
While pulling up to his house in Nescopeck, troopers said Sura Reyes told them he saw his mother walking in the road. Once he saw her in the street, Sura Reyes said he accelerated towards her and struck her with the front of his vehicle, causing her to pass out.
According to the affidavit, Sura Reyes told officers he knew he had a hammer in the vehicle. Sura Reyes said he obtained the hammer from the car and struck his mother in the head with it four to five times.
The affidavit states this happened around 6:18 p.m. on August 13.
Law enforcement said Sura Reyes’s neighbor witnessed the assault and approached him asking what he was doing. Sura Reyes yelled at his neighbor, “get back,” while holding up a hammer.
Officials say the neighbor yelled to his wife to call 911.
Members of the Salem Township Police Department took Sura Reyes into custody at 6:34 p.m. according to police.
The affidavit states there was a bloody hammer located on the hood of the vehicle as well as significant front-end damage to the bumper, headlights, hood, and windshield of the vehicle consistent with damage sustained in a pedestrian impact.
The Luzerne County Coroner’s Office said they pronounced Reyes’s mother dead at 7:30 p.m.
State troopers say Reyes was transported to PSP Shickshinny Barracks, read his Miranda warnings, and interviewed by troopers at 10:14 p.m. on August 13.
According to state police, 15 of the 17 patients were transported to nearby Geisinger hospitals.
A representative from Geisinger said seven patients are still in their care as of 6:30 p.m. August 14. Five patients are in critical condition and two are in fair condition. Eight patients have been treated and released.