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Sheriff's Office seeking information on fatal Deltona shooting

West Volusia police news

West Volusia police news

Volusia County sheriff's deputies are looking for any information on the shooting death of a Deltona man found dead near his home Saturday evening.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is offering a reward of $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the killing of Carlos Cruz, whose death appears to be the result of his effort to help a stranger, according to agency spokesman Andrew Gant.

Deputies responded to the corner of Malaga Avenue and Puritan Street in Deltona just before 8 p.m. Saturday, after a caller reported a car was stuck in a ditch and a man was lying on the ground behind it.

The victim, later identified as Cruz, had a gunshot wound and no pulse. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

“At this point in the active investigation, sheriff’s detectives believe Cruz heard the suspect vehicle having trouble near his home on Puritan Street. It’s believed that he offered to help by bringing his truck to help pull the car (a stolen vehicle) free from the ditch where it was stuck,” said Gant. “Instead, he was shot to death, and his truck was stolen.”

Cruz was an Army veteran and the brother-in-law of VCSO employee Edgar Burgos.

Gant quoted Burgos as saying it was in Cruz’s nature to help anyone he saw in need.

“We owe it to Mr. Cruz and his family to find the ruthless, coldblooded killer or killers who took his life,” Sheriff Mike Chitwood said Monday after authorizing the $10,000 reward. “It takes a special kind of evil to gun down a stranger who is only trying to help you. And anyone who knows something and stays silent is complicit in this heinous act.”

Anyone with information is urged to call it in. Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-TIPS, on the Web at www.westopcrime.com or via the app available for download at the website.

People with information can also call 386-248-1777 to reach the VCSO Communications Center and speak to a dispatcher.

 
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