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Far Rock teen shot cousin while showing off gun: DA

By Howard Koplowitz

A Far Rockaway teen was charged with manslaughter last week after he allegedly killed his cousin visiting from Massachusetts while showing her his unlicensed gun, Queens DA Richard Brown said.

Felix Cruz, 18, of 22-20 Cornaga Ave. in Far Rockaway, faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted on charges of manslaughter, criminal possession of a weapon, criminally negligent homicide and tampering with physical evidence, Brown said.

Cruz was with his 18-year-old cousin, Veronica Cruz of Clinton, Mass., on Aug. 13 when he allegedly showed off his .25-caliber semiautomatic handgun to her as he pointed the weapon at her and pulled the trigger, the DA said. The gun made a clicking noise but did not fire, Brown said.

Felix Cruz then allegedly pulled the trigger again and the gun fired a bullet that killed his cousin after it struck her in the face, the DA said.

Brown said the gun was not licensed.

“Illegal firearms pose a serious threat to public safety,” he said in a statement. “As a result of [Cruz's] alleged actions, [his cousin's] grieving family must now face the difficult and heartbreaking chore of adjusting to a life empty of her presence.”

The DA said Felix Cruz allegedly admitted to knowing the gun had a bullet in the chamber and that he got rid of the firearm by throwing it out a window.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

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