A man in Pennsylvania who was eating his Thanksgiving dinner with his family was killed after he was hit by a stray bullet fired from the street that had pierced a window.
Edilberto Miguel Palaez Moctezuma, 25 had been celebrating the holiday at home in Norristown, greater Philadelphia when the Thanksgiving tragedy occurred, Montgomery County prosecutors said in a statement.
Police arrived at the property to find Pelaez Moctezuma unresponsive with a gunshot wound to his torso. He was flown to Penn Presbyterian hospital where he was later pronounced dead. Police are still hunting for the suspect, Kevon Clarke, 19.
Norristown resident William Holmes told CBS 3 Philly that after the shooting, family members made a desperate plea to paramedics who arrived at the property in Arch Street around 9.30 p.m. Thursday.
“She was crying and saying, ‘He’s in here, he is in here. Please help.’ And I see paramedics rush in there,” Holmes said.
“Sitting in there, you know, with your family for Thanksgiving and you would never expect for anything like that,” Holmes said, “It was a sad scene, very bad.”
Palaez Moctezuma was the innocent victim of a dispute that had developed earlier in the day after Clarke was kicked out of a Thanksgiving dinner party nearby.
Clarke and his girlfriend, Jacqueline Brown, were among four people who had been asked to leave the party and alcohol was discovered missing after their departure.
Later, arrangements were made to return the alcohol in which Brown’s cousin would pick it up from outside Clarke’s residence. But when the cousin arrived, Clarke came out of his property brandishing a gun.
The cousin drove off and heard multiple shots fired as she fled. Investigators found seven projectiles in the area, including one live round, and said that the bullet that killed Palaez Moctezuma came from Clarke’s shooting location.
Surveillance footage showed two other male suspects, police said.
“Mr. Palaez Moctezuma was murdered while eating Thanksgiving dinner inside his home,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a statement. “To be clear, he and his family were not involved in the dispute between Clarke and others.”
Steele said the victim was the second innocent bystander killed this year “by someone who is not even legally able to own a gun.”
An arrest warrant for Clarke, who police say is armed and dangerous, charges him with first-degree murder and third-degree murder as well as charges related to illegal firearm possession.
Newsweek has contacted the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office for comment.
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