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One of 2 brothers killed in York was just released from prison

LIZ EVANS SCOLFORO
YorkDispatch

One of two brothers killed in York City on Friday night had been free for less than a week before bullets took his life and the life of his brother.

"I don't have words to explain it," Vanessa Soto said of her grief over her sons' deaths.

Abdiel Vazquez-Soto, 19, was released from York County Prison on June 8, according to court records.

"He just got home," Soto said.

Known as "Tito," Vazquez-Soto had just finished serving an 11 1/2- to 23-month sentence for selling heroin and illegally possessing a handgun, records state.

He and brother Angel Berrios Jr., 21, each died of a single gunshot wound, according to the York County Coroner's Office.

Berrios died of a gunshot wound to the chest, while Vazquez-Soto died of a single gunshot wound to the chest and abdomen, the coroner's office said.

The brothers' deaths have been ruled homicides, according to the coroner's office. They lived with family members on Roosevelt Avenue in York City, officials said.

The shootings: Berrios was driving an SUV, with Vazquez-Soto in the front passenger seat, when someone fired on them about 10:15 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Jefferson and Juniper streets, according to York City Police Lt. Troy Bankert, who supervises the detective bureau.

Berrios fled the area but crashed into a utility pole a short time later in front of the Graham Aquatic Center at the corner of Newberry Street and Madison Avenue, Bankert said.

It was unclear until after Monday morning's autopsies whether the brothers died of their gunshot wounds or from injuries suffered during the crash.

Dead at scene: Berrios was pronounced dead at the scene at 10:25 p.m. Friday, according to the coroner's office.

Vazquez-Soto and back-seat passenger Francisco Rivera, 20, were rushed to York Hospital, where Vazquez-Soto was pronounced dead about 2 a.m. Saturday, officials said.

Rivera was treated for injuries and released Saturday, a York Hospital spokesman said. Bankert said it's believed Rivera suffered crash injuries and wasn't shot.

No arrests had been made as of Monday, Bankert said.

Heroin case: Vazquez-Soto was sent to prison after pleading guilty in November to the felonies of heroin possession with intent to deliver, conspiracy to commit that offense and carrying a firearm without a license.

He was given credit for time served, which at that point was six months, court records state.

Vazquez-Soto was arrested May 28, 2014, by West Manchester Township Police after he sold four bundles of heroin worth $420 to a customer in the parking lot of a township shoe store on East Market Street, according to documents. There are 10 bags of heroin in a bundle.

He took off when police tried to arrest him, running through several back yards until officers captured him, according to police.

Vazquez-Soto was driven to the store lot by a co-defendant, and when police searched the co-defendant's car they found 57 more bags of heroin, plus a .380 caliber handgun in plain view on the front seat, documents state.

Homicide motive: Detectives investigating this weekend's double homicide have not yet determined a motive for the shooting, but they do have several leads they're chasing, according to Bankert.

The SUV is being examined for evidence, he confirmed.

It has not yet been determined whether more than one person fired at the SUV, Bankert said.

Anyone with information about the double homicide is asked to call York City detectives at (717) 849-2219 or call the city's anonymous crime tip line, (717) 849-2204. Or text a tip to "YORKTIPS" at 847411.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.