A 25-year-old gunman opened fire in a smoke shop in Bronx, killing one and wounding two others. Identified as Edison Cruz, the suspect was apprehended about two hours after the shooting and now faces murder and other charges for the fatal attack.
According to the police, the shooting happened around 1 am at a store on East Burnside Avenue, after one of the victims had an argument with the suspect at a Taco Bell. Cruz left the scene only to return later with a gun, ABC7 New York reported.
In the CCTV footage he can be seen standing outside the shop when the 31-year-old victim suddenly came at him with some kind of a pole or stick, Cruz immediately began firing. The victim attempted to run back inside the shop but got shot in the head and torso while doing so. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the first responders.
During interrogation Cruz told the detectives that he was "removing a problem from society," by killing the victim and said "better him than me." Store owner Jay Williams recounted the incident to the Daily News, "The guy who got shot, he just threw himself behind the counter, trying to hide. But he was already dead. Never in my life, I've never seen stuff like that in my life."
As per the preliminary inquiry, the police officials state that the other two victims both 34, who were caught in the crossfire were innocent bystanders and were taken to Saint Barnabas Hospital. The woman is in a critical condition after being shot in the torso while the man, struck in the arm is currently stable.
Cruz fled the scene but the police officials, through the CCTV footage, were able to arrest him at around 3.30am. The murder weapon, a ghost gun was recovered by the police officials at Tremont and East Jerome avenues.
Curz apparently has been arrested a dozen times in the past due to his aggressive behavior, NBC New York reported. According to senior law enforcement officials he was apprehended in June 2020 after allegedly walking down the street with a flamethrower and wearing a ballistic vest. In the same year, he was arrested again after hurling a plate of pasta at his mother's head and threatening to kill her. As per court records, he warned his mother, "You're not gonna grow to be old, I'm going to kill you and then I'm going to kill myself."
He was carrying an ax and a loaded firearm when arrested, the police officials stated, when asked for an explanation he simply said, "I have a lot of guns, I use them for educational purposes."
Cruz was found in possession of a shotgun, drill bits, manufacturing tools, a hatchet and parts for a Glock automatic weapon at his apartment in Bronx, when a search warrant was issued against him. According to the NY post, he was dubbed "the poster child for ghost guns" and had been on the NYPD's radar for a long period of time. However, he did not face any serious jail time, and was granted bail for his previous purported offenses.
The 31-year-old victim, on the other had also had been arrested quite a few times for assault, forgery and robbery and according to the police records, he was charged with beating up his girlfriend last week.