SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — A Meriden man has been charged in connection to a fatal shooting and crash in Southington last week.

Officers responded to the crash just after midnight Thursday and found that the driver, later identified as 28-year-old Jose Principe, of Waterbury, had hit a telephone pole in front of Noodles & Company at 842 Queen St. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

On Wednesday, the suspect, Victor Perez, was charged with murder while appearing in New Britain Superior Court. He was detained on a $10 million bond.

Southington police Lt. Keith Egan said the medical examiner ruled Principe’s death a homicide caused by a gunshot wound to his torso.

Perez, a convicted felon with an extensive criminal history in Meriden, was previously charged with criminal possession of a pistol and interfering with officers. He appeared in court on Oct. 27 and was released that afternoon after posting a $350,000 bond.

Southington police said he was taken into custody by the Department of Corrections on an unrelated charge. On Oct. 28, police obtained the arrest warrant charging Perez with murder. A judge set his bond at $10 million.

Victor R. Perez (Southington Police Department)

Police said Perez was seen in the area of the crash. When officers tried to detain Perez, Egan said he was argumentative and resisted officers’ attempts to gather information.

“When officers attempted to make contact with him [Perez] and have a conversation with him, he became evasive, provided a false name, and he continued to be uncooperative,” Egan said.

Egan said it appears Principe and Perez did not know each other.

“At this point, we have no reason to suspect the two have any relationship or that they knew each other before this incident,” Egan said.

Southington police said they’re working to determine when Principe was shot. They’ve already executed search warrants and are speaking with witnesses and reviewing video to piece together a timeline of events.

Egan said neither Perez nor Principe have a criminal history in the town of Southington.

When Anna Cormier heard the news of a crash on Queen Street, she drove from her home in Southington to see what was happening.

“This is where I live,” Cormier told News 8. “This is what I do. It’s sad that it happened here. “I saw the road was closed, so I turned around and went home. I advised everyone in our company that Queen Street was shut down right now, and we don’t know when it will be open because they didn’t know.”

Cormier works at Dalene Flooring, which is located near where the vehicle crashed.

“When I got down here, the road was blocked, so I tried to go around the back way, through Shop Rite’s parking lot, and when I got over here, our parking lot was blocked, as well,” she said.

This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Southington police at (860) 621-0101.