Lethal capturing in Liberty occurred after youngster custody swap: Police | Information

Liberty, Pa. — Jesus Alicea-Santiago, 31, of Buffalo, NY, would frequently travel from New York to Pennsylvania to exchange custody of his young child with his estranged wife, Denissa Alvarez-Matias, 32, of York, Pa.

On August 26 just after 3 pm, Alicea-Santiago, 31, lost his life during this exchange. Alicea-Santiago was shot in the parking lot of the Liberty Park & ​​Ride on Route 414 in Liberty Township.

Related reading: Two charged in fatal shooting at Liberty Park and Ride

Police said the couple met in the parking lot of the Dollar General store in Liberty to exchange custody of their two-year-old. Family members of Alicea-Santiago said the pair, who had reportedly split up while living in Puerto Rico and had moved back to the US in recent months, argued about a new relationship he was in.

According to the criminal complaint, video surveillance from the Dollar General showed the custody exchange of the juvenile, who was put into a red sedan, a BMW which matched witnesses’ description of the same vehicle seen minutes later at the Liberty Park & ​​Ride.

The BMW belongs to Leonardo Pagan-Acevedo, 33, of Bethlehem, Pa., who police identified as being in a relationship with the child’s mother. After making the exchange at the Dollar General, Alvarez-Matias drove to the Liberty Landing Strip Restaurant/Park & ​​Ride to retrieve Pagan-Acevedo, whom she had dropped there to wait while she picked up the child.

Alicea-Santiago followed Alvarez-Matias from the Dollar General into the parking lot and reportedly confronted the two in the BMW.

“During the altercation, Pagan-Acevedo retrieved a handgun from the glovebox of his car,” police wrote in the affidavit. “Pagan-Acevedo fired one shot from a handgun at Alicea-Santiago.”

Alicea-Santiago then fled the scene, according to police, driving to the Liberty Exxon gas station just 0.2 miles from the park and ride, where he reportedly requested medical attention. Alvarez-Matias and Pagan-Acevedo also fled.

After arriving at the Exxon station, troopers removed the Alicia-Santiago, by then unconscious, from his black Ford Explorer, and attempted CPR.

“A gunshot wound on the right abdomen and a gunshot wound on the lower back were observed,” wrote the police in the complaint.

Park & ​​Ride shooting.jpg

Alicia-Santiago was declared deceased at the scene.

An investigation led police to Pagan-Acevedo and Alvarez-Matias.

Criminal homicide and related charges of aggravated assault, firearms not to be carried without a license, propel missile into vehicles, and endangering the welfare of children were filed against Pagan-Acevedo.

Alvarez-Matias, who at first denied any involvement but later admitted to police that she was present when Pagan-Acevedo fired the shot, was charged with criminal homicide, endangering the welfare of children, and hindering in the apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of another.

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