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Murder suspect waited for couple that he shot, killed outside Westmoreland County home, police say

WESTMORELAND COUNTY, Pa. — Victor Steban, 53, is facing two counts of criminal homicide, and one count each of burglary and robbery, in connection with a double murder in Westmoreland County.

Shortly after 8 a.m. Monday, police responded to a call for two people down in a driveway with a large amount of blood. While on their way, officers were updated that the caller believed the people were dead.

>>STORY: Man, woman found murdered in Penn Township home

An officer then walked down the driveway and found shell casings that were consistent with those from a rifle.

When police went to the side porch of the home, according to court documents, both people appeared to be shot in the head. The woman was lying there; the man was lying beside the motorcycle.

When officers approached the back door, they noticed that it had been forced open and was damaged. Officers entered the home and found that drawers were open and items were ruffled, according to police.

During a news conference Tuesday night, authorities revealed that Steban waited for the couple to come home from a motorcycle ride, before allegedly shooting them.

Steban is also suspected of shooting at three homes, and is also a person of interest in a car bombing in Westmoreland County. He was taken into custody near the Sheetz at Thompson Lane and Route 30 in Irwin on Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier Tuesday, state police announced a $5,000 reward was being offered for information leading to the arrest of Steban, who is from North Huntingdon.

During a news conference Tuesday night, police said they were able to identify the weapon used as one they’d seen before used in other crimes.

Steban admitted to walking up to the house on foot with an AR-15 rifle and waiting until the couple came home on a motorcycle, court documents explained.

He said to police that he shot 27-year-old Mara Casale first, and then as she was trying to get away, he shot her two more times. Police reported Steban also admitted to shooting 41-year-old Jacob Erdeljac off his motorcycle, then shooting him twice in the head.

Steban allegedly told investigators he had a past issue with Jacob, and that led him to their Penn Township house.

>>STORY: Explosive used to destroy car in Westmoreland County

Steban said that he went into the home to look for keys to get away. When he couldn’t find any, he returned outside. Once he came back out, he looked into the red truck located in the driveway and saw that the keys were in the ignition. He jumped into the truck and drove away.

On Saturday night, investigators found weapons inside Steban’s home after responding for a fire. Officials said he was not legally allowed to have them.

About 45 minutes later, a car exploded in North Huntingdon Township. Steban is considered a person of interest in that.

Police believe that from Saturday night into Sunday, Steban fired shots at three homes. No one was hurt in those incidents. Investigators said Steban targeted homes of people he knew.