Police charge Berks County man in connection to double homicide in Lebanon County in April
LEBANON COUNTY — Cornwall Borough Police have filed criminal homicide charges against a 37-year-old Pennsylvania man in connection to the deaths of two men found at the scene of a traffic accident on Route 72 South near the Route 322 overpass in April.
Gilberto Torres-Reyes, currently an inmate at Phoenixville State Prison, is also facing charges of illegal possession of a firearm, recklessly endangering another person, and flight to avoid apprehension, according to a criminal complaint affidavit filed Thursday.
Torres-Reyes is accused of Alexis Perez-Garcia, 27, and Jelson Ortiz, 34, on the night of April 9.
Police say they were called to the scene of a reported vehicle accident at 8:13 p.m. on Route 72 South near the Route 322 overpass. While officers were responding, witnesses reported hearing shots fired at the scene, and two subjects were seen lying on the roadway.
While police arrived, they found a green Toyota Camry crashed into the center divider of Route 72. Two male subjects were lying on the roadway, police say. A 22 caliber handgun was found on the road north of the vehicle.
Witnesses told police they saw the Camry was traveling north on Route 72 when gunshots were heard. The car swerved, struck a stop sign and crashed into the divider. One witness saw a man exit the front passenger side of the vehicle, run south, and collapse on the roadway. The witness told police another man was seen running north from the vehicle.
A second witness said a male ran to her car from the scene and attempted to open the door, yelling “I need help. People have been shot; two people have been shot.” The fact that the man was asking for help and trying to enter the car when there were already first responders arriving at the scene concerned the witness, who did not let the man enter the car.
The witness described the man as Hispanic, 30 to 40 years old, with a medium build and a teardrop tattoo under his left eye.
Both men found on the roadway were declared dead at the scene. An autopsy revealed Perez-Garcia was shot once in the back, with the bullet traveling through his right shoulder blade to the left front of his body. Dejesus-Ortiz died of two gunshot wounds — one entering the left side of his nose and traveling through the skull to the back of his right ear, the second entering through the left shoulder blade and traveling through the right-center of his chest.
Spent .22 caliber shells were recovered from both bodies, police say. Both men were also found carrying $400 in cash.
Police identified Torres-Reyes as a suspect after receiving a tip from a witness. They executed a search warrant on the Toyota Camry. In addition to forensic evidence, they found a mobile phone belonging to Torres-Reyes in the back seat of the vehicle.
Torres-Reyes was captured by U.S. Marshals in New York City on April 13, police say.
DNA analysis of a cigarette butt found in the back of the vehicle revealed it was a match to Torres-Reyes, police say.