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Taco Bell employee obsessed with ‘ghost gun’ returned to work after shooting

The ghost gun-obsessed Taco Bell employee who allegedly shot a man in the Bronx and injured two others dropped the gun and went back to work after the deadly shooting, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Edison Cruz, 25, was held without bail pending his arraignment in Bronx Criminal Court, where prosecutors revealed startling details about the bloodbath early Tuesday morning.

Cruz later reportedly told cops he shot his intended target because he was “removing an issue from society” and said “better him than me” when questioned by detectives, sources said.

In court, Assistant District Attorney John Bennett said the 31-year-old victim and his wife were at the Taco Bell on Jerome Avenue when an argument broke out with the suspect.

“Then there was another confrontation outside,” Bennett continued.

Cruz reportedly opened fire, hitting the 31-year-old victim in the upper body and striking two bystanders around 12:50 a.m. in Mount Hope.

He then tracked the wounded victim to a bodega at 6 East Burnside Avenue and “shot him in the head,” Bennett told Judge Wanda Negron.

Edison Cruz
Edison Cruz was charged with murder, manslaughter and criminal weapons possession for the fatal Bronx Bodega shooting.
Ellis Chaplain
Edison Cruz
Cruz has been arrested three times since 2020.
undetectable weapons
The suspect used an untraceable weapon to commit the crimes.
Edison Cruz
Cruz has committed a history of crimes.
Ellis Chaplain

“The defendant is seen on video walking to East Tremont Avenue where he put the gun in a bag and dropped the bag at 1 East Tremont Avenue and returned to Taco Bell,” the prosecutor said.

The suspect, an illegal “ghost gun” nut, is said to have used one of the untraceable weapons in the shooting, sources said.

Detectives first spoke to Cruz at the fast-food restaurant to ask for surveillance footage from the store — not knowing he was the alleged shooter, the sources said.

Edison Cruz
Cruz stopped in front of the bodega, injuring innocent bystanders.
FNTV
Edison Cruz
Cruz holds his gun to intimidate bystanders and eventually shoots her.
FNTV
sacrifice runs
The victim tries to flee the scene of the crime.
FNTV
The footage was captured by a nearby surveillance camera.
Cruz shot one victim in the head.
FNTV

Cruz refused, but police were able to identify him after tracing the suspect’s path inside the restaurant.

Cruz was arrested at his fast food job and charged with murder, manslaughter and attempted murder.

The other two victims were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, law enforcement sources said.

Crime Scene Bronx
The suspect disposed of the gun in a bag before returning to work.
Robert Mecea

Law enforcement sources said Cruz had previous run-ins with the law, including a bust in 2020 when he was allegedly caught wearing a bulletproof vest and walking down the street with a grenade launcher on his back.

In total, since 2020, Cruz has been arrested three times and released twice on charges not eligible for bail under the state’s criminal justice reform measures.

He was being held on $15,000 bail following his third previous arrest, but was released under an alternative release program in July.

The sources said Cruz was on the NYPD radar for this apparent affinity for stealth handguns, with one police officer calling him “the poster child for ghost guns.”

A detective checks a store's camera
A detective reviews video from a surveillance camera at a store at the scene of the triple Burnside Ave shooting. 6.
Robert Mecea
crime scene
The crime scene is cordoned off for investigators.
Robert Mecea

The guns are particularly problematic for police because they are assembled at home from parts ordered online and have no serial number.

In a statement Tuesday, a Taco Bell spokesman said the company that employed Cruz was “shocked” by the charges against him.

“We are shocked and upset to hear that this has happened,” the statement said. “The franchise owner and operator of this location has informed us that they are cooperating with local authorities in their investigation and have offered advisory services to all team members present. Our thoughts are with all those affected.”

https://nypost.com/2022/05/04/ghost-gun-obsessed-taco-bell-staffer-returned-to-work-after-shooting/ Taco Bell employee obsessed with ‘ghost gun’ returned to work after shooting

JACLYN DIAZ

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