An American man allegedly ran into the crowd before killing his mother

BERWICK, Pennsylvania –

Pennsylvania State Police say a man upset over an argument with his mother drove through a crowd at a fundraiser for victims of a recent deadly fire, killing one person at the event and injuring 17 others, then returned home and beat his mother to death.

Police have identified the driver as Adrian Oswaldo Sura Reyes, 24, of Nescopeck, who was arrested early Sunday on two counts of criminal homicide.

Police allege in a criminal complaint that Sura Reyes said he had an argument with his mother at their home in Nescopeck on Saturday night and driving through nearby Berwick was ‘extremely frustrated’ and was ‘tired of fighting with his mother, including about money, and wanted to be done with it.

At the time, police said, a crowd of around 75 people, including adults and young children, had gathered in a blocked parking lot in Berwick outside the bar of the addiction department, which was holding a day of fundraiser for the victims of the August 5 fire in Nescopeck which killed seven adults and three children.

Police said Sura Reyes told them he walked past the rally, then turned around and walked back to the bar “to walk through the crowd”. Investigators asked how fast he drove into the crowd and Sura Reyes replied “accelerate”.

“CCTV collected by Pennsylvania State Police supports Sura Reyes’ statement that he deliberately accelerated through the crowd,” according to the criminal complaint.

Geisinger Medical Center said it received 15 patients after the crash, and five remained in critical condition while three were listed in fair condition, a hospital spokesperson said Sunday morning. Seven patients had been treated in hospitals and discharged.

Private Anthony Petroski III told reporters on Saturday evening that Sura Reyes was not currently a suspect in the fire, the cause of which is still under investigation.

“It’s a complete tragedy in a community where there’s been a tragedy before,” Petroski said.

Shortly after the crash was reported, troopers were called about a man “physically assaulting” a woman less than two miles from Nescopeck. Soldiers arrived to find that local police had arrested Sura Reyes and a woman was dead.

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

In the criminal complaint, police say Sura Reyes told investigators he saw his mother on the street on his way home and hit her with his vehicle, then hit her multiple times with a hammer.

Sura Reyes was denied bail and remained in the Columbia County Jail pending a preliminary hearing on August 29. Media reported that he said “sorry” in response to reporters’ questions as he was taken from Shickshinny police station. It was not immediately clear if he had an attorney to comment on his behalf.

The first funerals for the victims of the fire took place on Friday, with others scheduled for Sunday and Monday.

The bar called the events “an absolute tragedy” and said on its Facebook page that they would be closed until further notice and would like privacy “while we grieve and try to process the events that have occurred”.