BOSTON (WHDH) — Three men accused of fatally shooting a beloved Mission Hill hardware store owner Tuesday in an attempted robbery have been ordered held without bail.
Jerome Hobson, 39, of Dorchester, and Shawn Redden, 26, of Brockton, hid their faces in court Wednesday, while Christian Soto-Olivero, 21, of Mattapan, was arraigned from his hospital bed. All three men pleaded not guilty to the murder charges against them.
Authorities said 58-year-old Andres Cruz, the owner of AC Hardware, was gunned down by the trio inside his store near the intersection of Tremont and St. Alphonsus streets.
Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said Cruz was shot following a scuffle inside the store. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital.
Prosecutors said all three men fled the store after being injured by Cruz, who attempted to fight them off with a knife. They said police later recovered four shell casings from the store, as well as cash that the suspects took off with.
Leaving the courthouse Wednesday, Cruz’s son said his dad was a man who was loved by all.
“I just want justice,” Andres Cruz said. “Law enforcement will prevail.”
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.
“We have three punks here who came into this neighborhood and brought a lot of pain and suffering,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said. “This is happening too often. There are too many guns on our streets,” Walsh said.
Residents said Cruz was 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.”
A makeshift memorial has been set up outside the store as family and friends flock to pay their respects.
All three suspects are due back in court in September. The shooting remains under investigation.
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