NORRISTOWN, Pa. – A man in Pennsylvania was killed by a stray bullet while eating dinner with his family on Thanksgiving Day.
Police have identified the suspect who fired the shot, and a warrant for his arrest has been issued.
Edilberto Miguel Palaez Moctezuma, 25, was eating dinner at his family residence in Norristown, just outside of Philadelphia, when the bullet entered through a window and struck him in the torso, police say. Palaez Moctezuma was unresponsive when police arrived, and later pronounced dead after being flown to a hospital.
Investigators believe the bullet was fired by Kevon Clarke, a 19-year-old Norristown resident who had been involved in a dispute earlier in the day at a Thanksgiving gathering. Clarke and his girlfriend had been asked to leave, but were soon contacted by his girlfriend’s cousin about some alcohol that “was discovered missing” from the party, according to a press release issued by the Montgomery County district attorney.
The girlfriend’s cousin arranged to pick up the alcohol outside of Clarke’s residence, but she fled in her car when Clarke came out of the building with a gun and began firing.
The bullet that killed Palaez Moctezuma was traced back to the location of shooting, where investigators found seven other projectiles, police say.
Clarke was also not permitted to own a gun, and did not have a license for the weapon, according to the DA.
“Mr. Palaez Moctezuma was murdered while eating Thanksgiving dinner inside his home, and to be clear, he and his family were not involved in the dispute between Clarke and others,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele. “This is the second innocent bystander killed this year by a senseless dispute that turned to gun violence by someone who is not even legally able to own a gun. We hold the people involved in this kind of violence accountable here in Montgomery County. We will find this shooter and the others involved in this killing and seek justice for the murder of an innocent man, who wasn’t safe even in the confines of his own home.”
Clarke faces charges of first-degree murder, third-degree murder, person not to possess a firearm, carrying a firearm without a license, recklessly endangering another person, and possessing an instrument of crime.
Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Kevon Clarke are encouraged to contact the Norristown Police Department at 610- 270-0977 or call the Montgomery County Detectives’ Tip Line at 610-278-DOIT (3638). Tipsters can also submit information via text through the STOPit! app.