LEBANON, PENNSYLVANIA — Two young brothers, Jesus and Sebastian Perez-Salome, aged 8 and 9, were shot and killed while playing with kittens in their backyard. Another victim also lost his life in the shooting that took place on Tuesday night. Two suspects, Alex Torres Santos, 22, and a 16-year-old boy have been charged with the triple homicide, while a third suspect remains at large.
The children’s uncle, Felix Muniz Torres, recounted the devastating moment when the boys’ mother, who was working nearby, rushed to find her sons shot after hearing gunfire. Muniz Torres painted a touching picture of his nephews, describing them as ‘very innocent and polite’ children who loved to play with their superhero figures.
Both Santos and the minor face multiple charges including criminal homicide, aggravated assault, conspiracy, and weapons offenses. Santos was reportedly under house arrest for unrelated charges at the time of the incident. Another neighbor, aged 33, was also injured in the shooting but is expected to recover.
Joshua Lugo-Perez, the third victim, who lived with the boys but was not related to them, was reportedly the intended target over a ‘previous argument’. All three victims succumbed to their injuries, with Jesus pronounced dead at the scene while Sebastian and Lugo-Perez died at the hospital.
The Perez-Salome family, who migrated from Puerto Rico in 2019 in pursuit of better opportunities, faced a previous tragedy a year ago when they lost everything in a fire. Following the completion of the boys’ autopsies, the family plans to return them to Puerto Rico for burial.
Police arrested Santos at his apartment on Wednesday, along with a seizure of multiple firearms and ammunition. The other minor suspect was apprehended at a nearby apartment. According to District Attorney Pier Hess Graf, the suspects may potentially face the death penalty, though a decision is yet to be made.