It's another deadly weekend in Reading. This time, police say a teenager murdered one man and shot two others at a party early Saturday morning on Heckmans Court, an alley that runs off North 11th Street.
The suspect, 17-year-old Matthew K. Perkins, was still on the run as of Sunday morning.
Police accuse Perkins of shooting and killing 22-year-old Cesar Rivera. The victim's family said he did not know Perkins.
Two other victims, who police did not identify, were also shot. One was shot multiple times and is in critical condition at Reading Hospital, according to Berks County District Attorney John Adams. The other victim was wounded in the leg, but is expected to recover.
The shooting happened at a party full of teenagers. Adams told 69 News that Perkins arrived uninvited and some sort of disturbance broke out. Three different witnesses identified Perkins as the gunman, according to an arrest warrant.
Neighbors said they are accustomed to violence in a part of Reading that has become more dangerous. Luz Rios moved to the area three years ago, when she said it was safer.
"Now, it's terrible," she said. "The killings, the drugs. It's bad."
Coincidentally, another shooting happened just down the street about eight hours earlier. In that incident, the victim, Bennie Fair of Reading, claimed he was jumped by three men and shot by one of them as he ran away. Jeremiah Santiago, Joshua Natal, and Quashawn Knight have all been charged with aggravated assault. The victim and others identified Knight as the triggerman.
At this point, Adam said there is no evidence to suggest the two shootings are related, but police are looking into it.