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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Suspect held in slayings of 2 Peruvian students on Loíza Street

According to the criminal investigation, in the early morning hours of May 6, 2023, two New York University master’s students from Peru were in front of Emo-Y Bar and Lounge on Loíza Street in San Juan waiting for a shuttle when they were gunned down by an assailant who was exiting the establishment.

By The Star Staff

Jeremy Rafael Serrano Alicea, 26, was booked into prison on Saturday night for the killing of two Peruvian students, Franco Medina Angulo, 29, and Sergio Palomino Ruiz, 28, who were visiting Puerto Rico in May 2023 in the vicinity of the Emo-Y Bar and Lounge on Calle Loíza in San Juan.

“The death of two innocent young men of Peruvian nationality shocked, not only Puerto Rico, but the international community. Months have passed, but the investigations will not stop until the evidence required to prosecute those responsible for the commission of crimes and bring justice is done,” Justice Secretary Domingo Emanuelli Hernández said in a written statement. “Impunity has no place in Puerto Rico. Thanks to the tireless work of the agents of the Police Bureau and the prosecutors of the Department of Justice, today we communicate to the families of Franco and Sergio that the person who took their lives faces five criminal charges and we are ready to do them justice.”

Serrano Alicea faces two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of unlawful possession and use of an automatic weapon and one count of endangering the safety of the public by firing a firearm in public.

“Today marks the culmination of the first stage of this case, with [charges filed] in the murder of two innocent young people with a great future, who died at the hands of another young man, who showed no respect or value for the lives of others,” Police Commissioner Antonio López Figueroa said. “We cannot bring these young people back to life, but we can provide their families with the certainty that justice exists in Puerto Rico.”

López Figueroa added that Serrano Alicea has had a criminal record since 2016, for crimes related to vehicle theft and violations of the Weapons Law and the Controlled Substances Act.

According to the investigation, on May 6, 2023, at about 3:50 a.m., the New York University master’s students were in front of the aforementioned commercial establishment waiting for a shuttle.

Meanwhile, Serrano Alicea left the business firing shots with an automatic firearm, hitting the students and causing their deaths, according to the investigation by agent Erick Ortiz Rodríguez of the San Juan Criminal Investigation Corps (CIC).

Serrano Alicea was arrested by agents of the Intelligence and Arrest Division on Friday night after arriving at Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, on a flight from Baltimore, and was in the custody of the CIC’s Homicide Division.

Judge Brenda Salas, of the Court of First Instance of San Juan, determined probable cause for the arrest of Serrano Alicea and set bail at $3 million. The preliminary hearing was set for March 27.

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