Meriden man charged with murder following deadly shooting, crash in Southington
SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) - A shooting and deadly crash that closed a portion of a busy street in Southington on Thursday morning led to one arrest.
Southington police said they arrested 43-year-old Victor R. Perez of Meriden.
The victim of in the vehicle was identified as 28-year-old Jose L. Principe of Waterbury. Police determined that Principe had been shot in the back.
He was found in the passenger seat of the car at the scene.
Queen Street was closed for the investigation, according to Southington police.
The driver slammed into a utility pole shortly after midnight.
The crash happened in front of the Noodles & Company business.
The road was shut down between Aircraft Road and Interstate Parkway.
Principe was found to be unresponsive at first. He was transported to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead. According to the Medical Examiner’s office, Principe’s death was ruled a homicide with the cause of death being a gunshot wound to the torso.
A second person, identified as Perez, was arrested by police in the area of the crash. They said they believe he was somehow involved in the incident.
“Any fatal crash, it’s an extensive investigation,” said Lt. Keith Egan, Southington police. “In addition to the fatal crash we also have a criminal investigation with the potential death of a gunshot wound, so therefore both crimes are being investigated.”
Police charged Perez with criminal possession of a pistol and interfering with officers. Channel 3 was told he was the only one around when police arrived to the scene. He was described as uncooperative, so he was detained and searched. That’s when they said they found a pistol.
He was held on a $750,000 bond.
Police said Perez is a convicted felon. He violated a restraining order in 2020.
Perez was arraigned Thursday morning in New Britain Superior court and was held on a $350,000 bond. He posted bond and was released.
On Friday, Southington Police charged Perez with one count of murder for the death of Jose Luis Principe. Officials say the court set his bond for $10,000,000.
Perez is being held at the Department of Corrections on a $1,000,000 bond for an unrelated charge, police say.
Anyone with information about what happened was asked to call Southington police at 860-621-0101.
This is a developing story. Stay with Eyewitness News 3 for Updates.
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