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Three charged with murder of Mission Hill shop owner; one remains in the hospital

A Mission Hill resident who thought it was odd that the front door of AC Hardware was shut in the middle of the day sent her husband to investigate. Inside the store, assistant Suffolk County District Attorney John Verner said, the man found merchandise and blood all over the place - and owner Andres Cruz lying on the floor, dying from gunshot wounds.

The man was one of four witnesses Verner cited today at the arraignment of Jerome Hobson of Dorchester, 38, and Shawn Redden, 26, of Brockton, for Cruz's murder during a robbery around 4 p.m. at his Tremont Street store. Verner said the witnesses provided crucial information that quickly led police to the suspects.

A third man, Christian Soto-Olivero, 21, of Mattapan, was to be arraigned this afternoon in a bed at Boston Medical Center, where he is being treated for what Verner called "deep cuts" to his left arm. His injuries, scrapes suffered by Redden and a blood-covered knife recovered in the store suggest Cruz did not die without a fight after the three entered the store and closed the front door. Verner said officers recovered four shell casings in the store.

At arraignment in West Roxbury Municipal Court for Hobson and Redden, Verner described how witness accounts quickly helped police the three in a gray van on Cedar Street, about eight blocks away.

When the man who discovered Cruz on the ground went outside, he went up to a parking-enforcement officer writing tickets on St. Alphonsus Street.

She, in turn actually talked to the three, asking them if any of them owned the car she was about to ticket. They said no, one said to the other two "we need to get out of here" and they jumped into the van - after the ticket officer noticed blood on the back of his shirt. A fourth witness, driving by, saw the van go into the intersection of St. Alphonsus and Tremont, make a U-turn and head back down St. Alphonsus.

Within minutes, Verner said, an officer on patrol spotted the van on Cedar Street. With help from another officer, he pulled the van over. Redden got out and began to run, Verner said, adding he first "discarded a pile of money," along with a piece of paper that turned out to be a receipt from AC Hardware. When the officers caught up with him, he still had $700 on him, Verner said.

Hobson also ran and was also caught. Soto-Olivero, Verner said, stayed by the van, a "large puddle of blood" accumulating by the passenger side of the vehicle.

Back at the scene, officers followed "a very distinct blood trail" from the store, down St. Alphonsus to where the van had been parked.

Judge Mary Ann Driscoll agreed with Verner's request to hold the two suspect in her court without bail; their attorneys did not contest the request. During the arraignment, they stood in a hallway from the courthouse holding cells, out of view of the crowded courtroom.

Innocent, etc.

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Comments

is a hero. It's not easy to do what is right in the face of adversity. Bravo, and thank you for helping to make this city safer.

Same kudos to the BPD. Amazing police work!

RIP Andres.

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Absolutely. Justice for Andres!

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uh huh

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Because we apparently have become so dumb as a society that stories now have to remind us of that. At least Adam downplays the disclaimer by stating "Innocent, etc"

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for the reason you state.

Look at pretty much any emotional crime story on UH with comments, and people will be talking as if the accused has been convicted.

When that's the norm here, the unchanging "Innocent, etc." sounds glib, rather than functioning as a reminder or providing remedial education.

I usually agree with Adam's professional calls, but not on this point.

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Thanks, mom!

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Always thought "innocent, etc." would be good for UHub swag.

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Two weeks of actual honest work, and any one of the three actual robbers could have had that and maybe then some. Say hello to ordinary folks today.

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When has anyone in recent memory come close to getting away with anything like this? Why would anyone think that it was a good idea to even try?

Sensless, stupid, and brutal.

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Is that the senseless part?

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I don't know enough to know if he tried doing that. Seems like they came to kill someone and get money.

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Maybe he didn't want to be terrorized and was willing to stand up to the thugs. I won't fault him.

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Even somebody experienced at knife fighting, who goes unarmed at an armed opponent, will get killed 4 out of 5 times. How much better a weapon is a gun than a knife? 100 times?

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We don't know what happened in that store. Maybe they hit him or try to restrain him or told him they were going to kill him. Why go down without a fight? Point is we shouldn't assume things about the victim.

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No it's not. It's just a good honest man being brave. Cowardly A-holes trying to take advantage of an older man. God knows how many lives he saved by losing his own to these 3 cowards. He's a Hero.

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Who said criminals were smart?

Chief Inspector Daniels - The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

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News like this is always especially tough to hear. Prayers to his family and loved ones.

This is scary. A total lack of regard for human life, and all over a few dollars? Hopefully none of three are ever allowed to walk God's green earth again.

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The Globe reports that an uncle of Andres Cruz's wife was murdered in 2010 while working at another family store in Uphams Corner, his niece was also in the store at the time.

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Rest in Power Andres. You raised up the neighborhood with your kindness and ethic. How this could happen to you is sickening.

The Mission Hill of the 70s-90s that I grew up in was glossed over for a little while when properties got bought up so college kids would start moving in, but it never left. It's just out in the open again. Don't let your guard down. Bless the witnesses who acted; emulate them to honor Andres.

May these three cowards rot for life in cells where the only decoration is a photo of the smiling man they took from us.

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"The Mission Hill of the 70s-90s that I grew up in was glossed over for a little while when properties got bought up so college kids would start moving in, but it never left."

I mean, none of the suspects here lived on the hill, so it kinda did.

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