Unsolved Homicides: Erie Family Hopes for Justice in 2012 Deadly Shooting
Police want a suspect, and families want answers. For the next few nights, Erie News Now is taking a look at some unsolved and violent local crimes, that have fallen off the front page.
Nelson Irizarry-Reyes, 42, was shot three times in his head on April 14, 2012.
It happened as he was driving his van, police believe the suspect was in the vehicle with him at the time, and ran from the scene.
Irizarry-Reyes died at the intersection of 19th and Myrtle, in Erie.
His brother, Victor Irizarry, says not having justice for so long has been excruciating for the family.
He’s been coping with the fact that his killer remains on the loose, seven years later, despite him believing police know who pulled the trigger, “They know who it is, they have the fingerprints and the fingerprints match who was with him at that time,” said Irizarry. “So there's two people involved, as far as that were in the vehicle, and there were other people who were conspirators, but yeah, they know,” Irizarry continued.
But Erie Police Deputy Chief Mike Nolan says knowing, in any investigation, is much different than proving. As they may have a good idea who was involved, but not enough evidence to charge.
Stark differences that can hold up an investigation. But in Irizarry's case, Nolan says it has never stalled, “It's still an open investigation, it's being actively worked on by our detectives, the original detectives that were assigned to that case, and they’re still working on it.”
Nolan says although it's been seven years, they're still gathering information to nab the killer, and perhaps it's time which may actually now aid the investigation, “There are very likely people that knew about this at the time and had information back then in 2012, over the passage of time, that may cause some people to reflect on that and want to come forward. So, we're asking anyone who has information, whether it's old information or new, to please call us and help us clear this case,” said Nolan.
Nolan says he has regular meetings with the detectives on the case, and the district attorney's office, to review the case and any new information they may have.
If you know anything that may help Erie police solve the case, you're asked to give them a call.