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Suspects identified in Reading homicide

Suspects identified in Reading homicide

READING, Pa. - Police in Reading are on the lookout for two men wanted in connection with the city's latest homicide.

The men could be desperate to avoid capture, and they should be considered dangerous, police said.

"I would characterize them as dangerous. They were involved in a homicide," said Sgt. Matthew Schappell, Reading Police Dept.

Police have identified the suspects as William O. Roman-Martinez, 31, and Juan Carlos Otero-Roman, 27, both of 1313 Mulberry St. in Reading.

They are wanted in connection with the homicide of Maximino Cruz, Jr., 36, of N. 8th Street in Reading, investigators said.

According to the police complaint, Maximino Cruz Jr., was attending a party in the 1300 block of Mulberry Street, and as he was leaving the party, he became involved in an argument with Roman-Martinez.

According to police records, Cruz left the block and then returned, and the argument between him and Roman-Martinez resumed.

Another man at the party, Roberto Pineyro, challenged Cruz to a fist fight, police said.

While Pineyro and Cruz were arguing, police said Juan Otero-Roman went to get an aluminum baseball bat and tried to attack Cruz, but witnesses said Cruz pulled out a handgun and fired one shot in Otero-Roman's direction.

Witnesses then told police that Roman-Martinez then started firing at Cruz.

"Apparently, there had been some history between the victim and some of the folks that he was arguing with, but what started it off this day, we're not really sure," said Schappell.

A shootout between Roman-Martinez and Cruz ensued and Roman-Martinez shot Cruz in the back, police said.

Cruz died at the scene, police said.

Roman-Martinez has no prior criminal record in Berks County, officials said.

Otero-Roman, however, pleaded guilty in 2011 to discharging a firearm within city limits, according to court documents.

Now, police said they want both Roman-Martinez and Otero-Roman off the streets.

"They know that we're looking for them, and they could be desperate to not be apprehended," said Schappell.

Police said they have enlisted the help of the FBI and the U.S. Marshal's Task Force to track down the two suspects, who are facing charges of criminal homicide, first and third degree murder, and aggravated assault, authorities said.

Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to call Crime Alert Berks County at 877-373-9913. Anonymous tipsters who provide information that leads to an arrest could receive a cash reward of up to $10,000.

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