Sean Hughes, 19, of Morrisville, a suspect in the killing of a Bensalem middle school student and the wounding of two other teenagers on Halloween Night, is dead, according to police.
A Friday statement posted to the Bensalem Township Police Department’s Crimewatch page, which also suggested Hughes may not have acted alone, said he died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in Ohio Thursday, reportedly as Marysville police officers were closing in on him.
Hughes was a “person of interest” in the murder of Pietro “Peter” Romano, 14, who attended Snyder Middle School in the Bensalem School District. Injured in the shooting were a 17-year-old and a 19-year-old. The three were shot at about 7:35 p.m. Tuesday near the corner of Bristol Pike and Woodbine Avenue in Bensalem.
The gunshots appeared to have come from a gray 2014 Hyundai Elantra that was parked nearby and fled the scene after the shooting.
“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,” the statement from police said.
It also warned against individuals seeking retribution for the killing of Romano.
“We understand that people in our community are affected emotionally by this tragedy and some to the extent that they may wish to take the law into their own hands,” the statement read. “This must not happen.”
It was the Elantra that led police to Hughes. Surveillance cameras captured the vehicle at the scene and police reportedly determined it had been reported stolen in Bristol Township.
Its plate number and description were entered into the National Criminal Intelligence Resource Center. At the same time, leads and tips from the public developed Hughes as a person of interest.
After a hit on the license plate in Marysville, police there attempted to stop the car but it fled. Ultimately the driver got out and tried to escape on foot.
“When police located the driver, he was dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound,” the statement read. “The driver was identified as Sean Hughes, the person of interest in the murder.”
Bensalem police asked anyone with information about Romano’s death to report it to Detective Brian Oliverio at 215-633-3669 or Detective Larry Leith at 215-633-3713.
“We will continue to investigate this homicide so that we can hold all people responsible for it accountable to the fullest extent of the law,” police said.
An anonymous tip can also be left at bucks.crimewatchpa.com/bensalempd.