He loved his bikes, video game and his family. Bensalem boy remembered for life, not gun death (2024)

Angela Romano will miss that knock on her door.

She could always count on her nephew, Peter Romano, riding his bike over to her house in search of a homecooked meal and a cousin to hang out with.

The last time she hugged Peter he had come over after school a couple weeks ago to spend time with his 15-year-old second cousin, Anthony.

“It was just your typical day, boys playing video games, eating, doing what boys do,” she recalled during an interview Friday morning.

He loved his bikes, video game and his family. Bensalem boy remembered for life, not gun death (1)

He was part of a close-knit, robust Italian family who he enjoyed spending time with, including his mom Elaine and dad Pietro; twin brother, Niki; older sister, Maria; and three older brothers, Sal, Alex and Anthony; as well as plenty of cousins, second cousins, uncles and grandparents.

Which is why it wasn’t unusual to find him at Zia Angela’s, or TT, as Peter called her.

“My house was the hangout,” she said. “He would stay for hours at my house and come knocking at my door and say, ‘TT, what are you making for dinner?’”

With his cousins, he would swim for hours in Angela’s pool during the summer, played basketball, curiously wandered through the woods behind his aunt’s home and ride bikes around the neighborhood.

“He was always ready to play and very funny. He brought in lots of energy,” Angela said of those easy, carefree days in her young nephew’s life.

But she will no longer open her door to find Peter on the other side.

On Halloween night, the 14-year-old was shot and killed, one of three teens struck when a gunman fired a string of bullets into a crowded Bensalem parking lot.

The senseless act has left Peter’s family coping with the overwhelming grief of his death.

“This is a tragedy for our family. It’s just a nightmare,” she said. “But we all support each other. We are there for one another no matter what.”

What happened in Tuesday night’s shooting in Bensalem?

“This obviously (is) a tragedy for our township, and our thoughts and prayers are with the victim right now,” Bensalem Public Safety Director William McVey said Wednesday morning. “No one should ever be the victim of gun violence, especially a 14-year-old."

He said about 25 to 30 juveniles were in the area prior to the shooting.

In addition to Peter, who was a student at Snyder Middle School, two other teens were shot, but survived their injuries.

More details on that night:What we know about Halloween night killing in Bensalem and what police are searching for

Initially, police did not name any suspects. But an update was released by police Friday morning, saying a person of interest in Peter’s killing was found dead Thursday.

Sean Hughes, 19, of Morrisville, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound near Marysville, Ohio, Bensalem police said, following a pursuit in a vehicle which police had identified as the one used in the Tuesday shooting.

Angela said when her family was told Thursday night police had found Hughes, it was an answer to their prayers.

“I was relieved because it was scary,” she said. “Was he going to do this again? He just opened fire on kids. How can you do that? How can you open fire on kids and just keep shooting? It’s just terrible.”

Person of interest found:Suspect in Bensalem shooting dead; family of slain boy 'relieved,' feared he would kill again

Bensalem community embraces family, as his memory lives on

Throughout the days following Peter’s death, the community has rallied around the family, offering words of support and gathering for a vigil Thursday night.

As of Friday afternoon, more than 300 donors have contributed a combined total of $17,000 to aGoFundMe page, which was set up to help raise money for funeral expenses.

“The amount of love and respect our family has gotten from the community has been amazing. People have been messaging me that I don’t even know. It’s just amazing, the love,” Angela said.

She said their family will hold on tight to the good times and all the things they loved about Peter, including the moments spent with his cousins, especially in the summers when they had all the time in the world to spare.

Sophia Rinaldi, his 12-year-old second cousin, said she and Peter had been very close.

“He’d always play video games with me; he would always make me laugh and he’s was always very nice. I’ll miss the summertime with him and swimming in the pool,” she said.

His 18-year-old cousin Lorena Brandt spoke of Peter’s big heart and the impact he had on those who knew him.

“He was a great kid and made everyone around him feel loved. No matter what you were going through, he knew just how to make you laugh and make you smile again. He didn’t deserve what happened to him,” she said.

“We will never forget him ever, he will always be alive in our home,” Angela added.

“In spirit, we will keep him alive.”

Peter Romano's funeral set for Tuesday

Relatives and friends are invited to attend his visitation Tuesday, Nov. 7, from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. at St. Charles Borromeo Church, 1731 Hulmeville Road, Bensalem.

A mass service will be held at 10:30 a.m., followed by an interment at Rosedale Memorial Park, 3850 Richlieu Road, Bensalem.

Vigil held for Peter:Prayers for Peter Romano, and a plea to his killer: 'You know who you are...do what's right'

He loved his bikes, video game and his family. Bensalem boy remembered for life, not gun death (2024)


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