Dad killed defending daughters

Nearly 40 hours after being shot in the face during a robbery while protecting two of his seven daughters, a bodega owner died Wednesday, June 13 at Jamaica Hospital.
Bolivar Cruz, 56, owner of Kennedy Mini Market at 133-45 131st Street in South Ozone Park, was shot while reaching for his unlicensed handgun after three men, two of them armed, attempted to rob the bodega at about 9:30 p.m. Monday, June 11, according to police.
In addition to Cruz and daughters Angelina, 27, and Jalissa, 16, a co-worker and customer were ordered by assailants to get down on the floor. Cruz was unable to fire his weapon, a .380 semiautomatic pistol, before being shot once in the face, police said.
No arrests have been made, but police are seeking three male suspects, two black and one Hispanic, who are thought to be driving a red Lexus with Florida license plates. In a statement issued Tuesday, June 12, New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Raymond Kelly said police believe the suspects in Cruz’s shooting are behind a string of robberies in Queens dating back to March. They have adopted the pattern of robbing one establishment, then immediately attacking a second while police are busy responding to the first, said Kelly.
Minutes prior to the Kennedy Mini Market robbery, another bodega, half-a-mile away, was robbed by three men who police believe are also responsible for Cruz’s death.
A native Dominican who emigrated to the United States in 1999, Cruz is survived by a large extended family and was described as hard-working.
“All he did was work, work, work,” said a cousin Miguelina Cruz, 26, in published reports. “Look what happened. He was always protecting his daughters, and that’s what he was doing Monday night.”
“He was always peaceful,” said Ivory Kelly, who has lived in the neighborhood for 25 years. “He never argued with anyone.”
In 13 heists since March 17, crooks got away with as much as $2,000 at a time. Only one other person had been shot during the spree, and that person was shot in the leg.
Cops handed out flyers and hung posters throughout the vicinity in an attempt acquire leads. A $2,000 reward is being offered to anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information should call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS.

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