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2 suspects arrested, charged in double homicide

By 69 News, (follow: @69news), news@wfmz.com
Published On: Jan 23 2012 12:36:01 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 24 2012 09:52:06 AM CST

Reading police say a long-standing feud led to a shooting that left two people dead and another in the hospital.

READING, Pa. -

A long-standing feud led to a shooting that left two people dead and another in the hospital, according to police.

Police late Monday announced the arrests of Juan Carlos Claudio, 28, and Wilfredo Rodriguez Claudio, 19.

Investigators said both suspects opened fire just before midnight, Friday, in the 300 block of Pear Street in Reading, resulting in the city's first homicides of 2012.

"It was a very active scene," said Captain Damond Kloc of the Reading Police Department. "There were a lot of people involved. It took most of our patrol force to calm the scene down."

Police said one victim died at the scene, and another at the hospital. Those victims were identified as Efrain Lopez Collazo, 51, and his nephew, Geovanie Collazo Rosa, 23.

Authorities said a third victim, whose identity has not been released, remains hospitalized in stable condition.

Police explained that the shooting was motivated by a feud that has a long history.

"This has been an ongoing situation between the two houses, some females were involved, their boyfriends got involved, and one thing led to another and unfortunately this is what has occurred," said Captain Kloc.

"I know that there was a dispute in this neighborhood, but to shoot up the neighborhood, to shoot your neighbors, is absurd," said John Adams, Berks County District Attorney.

Police said they recovered evidence during the search of two homes near the scene of the shootings. A trail of blood led from the victims to one of the homes on Pear Street, and a duffle bag containing shotgun shells, bullets and clothes was found on a second floor porch of the other home, according to court documents.

"There was some evidence discarded in different locations. It was a very large scene, multiple houses involves, some vehicles involved," said Kloc.

Investigators say snowy conditions made the collection of evidence problematic.

"The men of criminal investigations here have done an outstanding job, and we still have a lot of work to do to tie up loose ends involved in this investigation," said Kloc.

Loved ones learned of the arrests of the suspects on Monday.

The family was too upset to speak, but family friends spoke on their behalf.

"There's a lot of pain," said Wanda Arizmendi, family friend. "Kids missing their father, the grandkids missing their grandfather, you know, it's too hard for all these kids. For the entire family it's too hard."

Both suspects, Juan Carlos Claudio and Wilfredo Rodriguez Claudio, face a long list of charges, including first and third degree murder.