Three men plead not guilty to murder charges on Wednesday in the fatal shooting of a beloved Boston hardware store owner in Boston's Mission Hill neighborhood.
Christian Soto-Olivero, 21, of Mattapan, Jerome Hobson, 38, of Dorchester and Shawn Redden, 26, of Brockton were captured by police soon after the murder of Andrés Cruz, who was gunned down inside his Tremont Street hardware store on Tuesday.
Hobson and Redden were both ordered held without bail during their arraignment in West Roxbury Municipal Court on murder and firearm charges. Soto-Olivero, who was found laying on the sidewalk with a deep cut to his forearm and elbow area, was also ordered to be held without bail during an arraignment in his hospital bed at Boston Medical Center Wednesday afternoon.
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Police said the suspects entered the store around 4 p.m. with the intent to rob the business. There was a struggle and shots were fired before the suspects fled in a minivan.
Investigators said they found multiple shell casings and one bullet fragment inside the hardware store, along with a large knife near Cruz's body.
Authorities said Cruz fought back, using a knife to slash two of the men.
Police spotted the van a short time later and chased down the suspects after they jumped out of the vehicle.
Both Boston Mayor Marty Walsh and Police Commissioner William Evans called the suspects "cowards."
Cruz’s store, AC Hardware, was named business of the year in Mission Hill for 2017.
While the hardware store remain covered in flowers and candles on Wednesday, Cruz's family spoke out.
"I know he sacrificed a lot of things in life just to wake up everyday and go out under the sun to work and make things happen," said Cruz's son Andres. "He's a loved man. A lot of people love him... very proud of him."
Area residents said Cruz was a family man and great with the community.
"I don't know what to say. I'm pretty upset right now," said Eusebio Espino outside the store.
Shop owners along Tremont Street say Cruz's murder makes them worry about their own safety.
"It's shaken a lot of people in Mission Hill," said Supreme Kahlif Malik.
Cruz's family says right now, they want justice.
"They're already in custody," said Cruz's son. "So, that's a start."