A few days after the Hughes incident in Ohio, bodycam footage obtained by NBC10 showed that Hughes wasn’t alone in the car during the police chase. Police also caught up to passenger Joshua Marquez, 25, who discarded a gun in a field and surrendered. According to Marquez, he wanted out of the speeding vehicle, but Hughes wouldn’t let him leave.
Marquez, a convicted felon who was unlawfully in possession of a weapon, was charged in Ohio, with his bond set at $250,000. At the time of this writing, police had yet to determine whether or not Marquez was involved in the Bensalem Halloween shooting.
In an official statement, Bensalem Police said, “We will continue to pursue all leads in our attempt to identify any other potential suspects engaged in the planning or solicitation of this crime, including occupants of the vehicle used in the murder.”
Sean Hughes, 19, of Morrisville, a person of interest in the Halloween murder of Bensalem 14-year-old Pietro “Peter” Romano, has been found dead.
The vehicle used in the shooting at Bristol Pike and Woodbine Avenue, which left one dead and two injured, was identified as a gray 2014 Hyundai Elantra after being captured by surveillance cameras at the scene of the murder and by Bensalem Township intersection cameras as it fled northbound on Bristol Pike after the shooting.
Investigation by Bensalem Detectives led to the identification of the registration plate, which was PA JHF-2866. It was also determined that the vehicle was previously stolen out of Bristol Township. The vehicle and registration plate were entered into the National Criminal Intelligence Center as a felony vehicle. The Bensalem Police Department and Bucks County District Attorney’s Office also developed Hughes as a person of interest in the murder based on their investigative leads and tips from the public.
On Thursday, Nov. 2, the Marysville Police Department in Ohio observed the Elantra and attempted to conduct a traffic stop based on a License Plate Reader hit. The driver failed to stop and a pursuit ensued. The driver of the vehicle eventually exited and ran on foot. When police located the driver, he was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He was soon identified as Hughes.
Police will continue to pursue all leads in an attempt to identify any other potential suspects engaged in the planning or solicitation of this crime, including occupants of the vehicle used in the murder. If anyone has a tip, lead or information regarding this incident, report it to the Bensalem Township Police Department, which is continuing to investigate this homicide so that it can hold all people responsible for it accountable to the fullest extent of the law.
The Bensalem Township community is reeling over the tragic death of 14-year-old Pietro “Peter” Romano, a student at Snyder Middle School who was shot and killed on the evening of Halloween.
Shortly after 7:30 p.m., Bensalem Police responded to the area of Bristol Pike and Woodbine Avenue for the report of a large group of juveniles fighting. Upon arrival at the location, police found three shooting victims, all of whom were transported by Bensalem EMS to Jefferson Torresdale Hospital for treatment.
A 19-year-old was treated for gunshot wounds to his lower extremities and released the same night. At the time of this writing, the second victim, a 17-year-old, was still in the hospital in stable condition, and was set to receive surgery to repair injuries to both legs.
Romano, however, was pronounced dead upon arrival.
According to witnesses, shots were fired from a vehicle that was parked at Woodbine Avenue and Bristol Pike, where about 30 juveniles were gathered. After the shooting, the vehicle — a white SUV — then fled the scene at a high rate of speed northbound on Bristol Pike.
Bensalem Director of Public Safety William McVey stressed that his department, aided by the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office and Bensalem Township School District, is doing everything it can to identify, locate and arrest the shooter.
A GoFundMe was set up to help Romano’s family cover funeral expenses. It says, “Peter was a 14 year old boy who enjoyed doing everything a 14 year old boy loved to do. A sudden loss like [this] is very heavy and devastating. All donations are appreciated.” At the time of this writing, the fundraiser garnered over $16,400 of the $20,000 goal.
As for Romano’s school community, Superintendent Dr. Sam Lee stressed that counselors are on hand to help anyone struggling with the news.
“Our mental health teams, consisting of trained professionals, were available today and will continue to be available as long as necessary to offer counseling, guidance and a safe space for students and staff to express their feelings, ask questions and find support,” he said.
On Wednesday, a small display of candles and flowers was placed by Romano’s mother and other loved ones on a ledge in the shopping center where he was killed. His mom also placed flowers in the specific parking spot where it happened. A larger memorial was slated to take place in the shopping center last night.
As they view area surveillance footage from nearby businesses, police also need the public’s help. The department urges anyone who was at the scene of the shooting or anyone with additional information to contact Detective Brian Oliverio at 215-633-3669 or Detective Larry Leith at 215-633-3713. The public can also provide an anonymous tip at bucks.crimewatchpa.com/bensalempd/. Police will follow up on any information and leads that are provided.
Samantha Bambino can be reached at email@example.com