SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 7, 2013

Peabody police ID suspect in shooting

By Jonathan Phelps
Staff writer

---- — PEABODY — Police have identified and are searching for the suspected gunman in last week’s Washington Street shooting. They would not comment last night on any possible motives for the shooting.

Aquiles Antonio Bernabe-Deleon, 21, of Lynn is wanted on charges of armed robbery, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, and discharging of a firearm with 500 feet of a dwelling.

A warrant for his arrest has been issued by Peabody District Court, according to a brief statement by Deputy Chief Martin Cohan last night.

Police would not release further information on the charges last night.

A picture of Bernabe-Deleon was distributed by police in hopes of receiving help from the public in capturing him. Police warned that he is considered armed and dangerous and should not be approached. He is 5-foot-5 and 129 pounds.

Bernabe-Deleon was identified by Peabody police with assistance from investigators from the district attorney’s office and the Lynn Police Department’s gang unit, according to Cohan’s statement.

District attorney spokeswoman Carrie Kimball Monahan referred calls to Peabody police last night.

The shooting sent 27-year-old John Leger to Massachusetts General Hospital with apparent gunshot wounds to the thigh.

At 8:55 p.m. Thursday, patrol units responded to his residence at 197 Washington St., Apt. 3.

Police said Leger’s injuries do not appear to be life-threatening. He was conscious and alert when help arrived.

Police said Friday that the shooting does not appear to be a random act.

Police are encouraging anyone who may have seen Bernabe-Deleon or who knows his whereabouts to call Peabody detectives at 978-538-6364.

Anonymous tips can also be reported at peabodypolice.org.