3 ‘punks’ charged in fatal shooting of beloved Mission Hill store owner

BOSTON (WHDH) - MISSION HILL (WHDH) — Three “punks” accused of fatally shooting a beloved Mission Hill hardware store owner Tuesday during an attempted robbery have been charged with murder.

Christian Soto-Olivero, 21, of Mattapan, Jerome Hobson, 38, of Dorchester, and Shawn Redden, 26, of Brockton, were arraigned Wednesday and ordered held without bail. All three men pleaded not guilty.

Authorities said officers responded around 4 p.m. for a report of shooting at AC Hardware, located near the intersection of Tremont and St. Alphonsus streets, and found 58-year-old Andres Cruz suffering from gunshot wounds.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said Cruz was shot following a scuffle inside the store. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.

Police said they caught up to a van after the shooting and that the three men inside tried to get out and flee on foot. Police caught up with them and arrested them.

“Allegedly we have three punks here who came into this neighborhood and brought a lot of pain and suffering,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said.

The incident is the latest in a series of shootings in Boston, which has seen an increase in gun violence, compared to this time last year. Walsh has assigned trauma teams to assist witnesses and victims in the wake of violent crimes.

“This is happening too often. There are too many guns on our streets,” Walsh said. “We have to work with these kids and get these guns off our streets.”

Residents said the store’s owner is well-known in the neighborhood, having had a presence in Mission Hill for decades. He was recently named “2017 Mission Hill Main Street Business of the Year.” One woman said she would always see the man outside of his store saying hello to neighbors when she passed by.

“I’m just shocked to know that this happened to him,” she told 7News. “He was an amazing person. He will be truly missed.”

 

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