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Suspect Faces Death Penalty in Connection With Triple Murder That Claimed Lives of Boys Playing With Kittens at Pennsylvania Home

suspect death penalty triple murder pennsylvania
Source: Lebanon County District Attorney’s Office

James Fernandez-Reyes; Alex Torres Santos

Jun. 7 2023, Published 1:28 p.m. ET

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A Pennsylvania man will face the death penalty after allegedly shooting two young brothers and a 19-year-old to death and injuring another man, according to authorities.

On May 30, officers were dispatched to an area in Lebanon after reports of gunfire came in, according to the Lebanon City Police Department. Once at the scene, officers found four individuals suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.

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One victim was transported to a Lebanon County hospital by ambulance and another victim went via private transport, officials said. The victim who was taken by ambulance died from his wounds and the other underwent surgery and is expected to survive.

A third victim went to a hospital in Dauphin County, where he died, and a fourth victim was declared dead at the scene, police said.

Investigators recovered 27 shell casings at the scene fired from two different guns, the Lebanon County District Attorney’s Office said.

Officials noted the three victims who died reportedly all lived in the same home, though the teenage victim was not an immediate family member. The fourth victim who survived the shooting, Luis Cancel, was a next-door neighbor.

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Police identified the victims as 8-year-old Jesus Perez-Salome, 9-year-old Sebastian Perez-Salome and 19-year-old Joshua Lugo-Perez.

During a press conference, officials said investigators believe the gunmen targeted Lugo-Perez due to a “past argument.”


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The suspects were identified as 22-year-old Alex Torres Santos and 16-year-old James Fernandez-Reyes. Lebanon County District Attorney Pier Hess Graf stated investigators are still looking for a third suspect and a suspect vehicle believed to have been involved in the homicide as well, WPMT reported.

Detectives reportedly searched a home that Fernandez-Reyes and Santos fled from and found an AK-47, which was “consistent with the shell cases located on-scene,” authorities said.

Investigators believe Santos and Lugo-Perez were involved in a dispute before the shooting. The two young children killed were reportedly playing with kittens when they were killed.

Fernandez-Reyes and Santos were arrested and charged with three counts of criminal homicide, three counts of conspiracy to commit homicide, one count of aggravated assault and other firearms offenses, officials said.

Graf announced Fernandez-Reyes would be charged as an adult and they would seek the death penalty against Santos, WPMT reported.


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