Deputies seek man who killed vet on Veterans Day

- Volusia County deputies are trying to track down the person who shot and killed a veteran on Veteran’s Day, who was acting as a Good Samaritan.

Investigators say 60-year-old Carlos Cruz heard someone was having car troubles down the street from his house in Deltona Saturday, so he went to help.

You can still see tire marks in the ditch line near Puritan Road. Deputies say Cruz offered to pull the car out with his own truck.

“At that point in time, we believe that a human piece of garbage pumped three bullets into him at close range and then stole his truck,” said Volusia Co. Sheriff Mike Chitwood. “The truck was recovered several hours later in the Pine Hills section of Orange County.” 

According to Chitwood, deputies theorize that the first person who stopped to help was going to be murdered.

“This was an out and out assassination,” Chitwood said.

And now a manhunt is underway for the killer.

“All we know for sure is there was a black male in a dark hoodie who was driving Mr. Cruz’s truck away because when he was leaving the scene of the homicide, he crashed into somebody,” Chitwood explained.

Deputies say anyone with information leading to an arrest and conviction, could get a reward of $10,000. Neighbors say they’ll be on edge until some is behind bars. 

“I hope they catch whoever did it,” Hector Perez, who lives on the same street as Cruz, said.

Deputies say the car left on the scene had been stolen. While one person was spotted driving Cruz’s car after the homicide, Chitwood says more people may be involved.

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-TIPS (8477), on the web at or via the app available for download at the website. Or call 386-248-1777

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