HAZLETON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Details have been released on a Luzerne County shooting that allegedly started as a dispute about publications in a Spanish newspaper.
According to the Hazleton City Police Department, officers responded to the 100 block of South Vine Street where they found Bernardo Perez suffering from a gunshot wound to his arm.
The gunman was identified after police say they tracked the registration plate of a Nissan that was on the scene to Victor Perez, 60, of Freeland, who is the president of the Dominican House of Hazleton.
Victor told detectives he had a long-standing feud with Bernardo claiming he would publish disparaging pictures and caricatures of his wife and daughter in a Spanish newspaper Bernardo Perez publishes called “El Periodiquito”, as stated in the affidavit.
Prior to the shooting, Victor told investigators Bernardo went to a business where Victor’s daughter worked and placed newspapers to be sold. Bernardo was advised that was not permitted to leave the newspaper at the business.
According to court documents, Victor went looking for Bernardo to tell him to stop posting pictures and caricatures of his wife and daughter. When Victor located Bernardo, he claimed Bernardo exited his vehicle holding a knife, police stated.
The affidavit said Victor admitted, to detectives that he fired three rounds from a gun to stop Bernardo from approaching him with the knife.
Bernardo was transported to Lehigh Valley Hospital – Hazleton for non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.
Police noted Victor Perez and Bernardo Perez are not related.
Victor is the president of the Dominican House of Hazleton which is an organization that helps Latino immigrants adapt to their new home.
Victor was arraigned Thursday morning on two felony charges of aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. He was jailed at Luzerne County Correctional Facility for lack of $50,000 bail.