2007-12-28 / Front Page

Murdered At Lawrence Taco Bell

Romantic Rival Takes Own Life After Shooting
By Nicholas Briano

Aromantic rival fatally shot a Far Rockaway man working at a Nassau County Taco Bell on Wednesday night and then fled the scene, only to commit suicide shortly thereafter, Nassau County police said.

The victim, Kevin Cruz, 21 of Far Rockaway was killed at the Lawrence, Long Island, Taco Bell at 325 Rockaway Turnpike after an earlier dispute over an ex-girlfriend, police sources say.

According to Nassau County police spokesperson Detective Sergeant Quinn of the county's Homicide Squad, the victim and the defendant share the same last name, although they are not related.

Police say that Giovanni Cruz, 24, of Brooklyn and the Rockaway man, had a previous altercation over a female that had dated both men, which they believe may have sparked the deadly attack at the Taco Bell fast-food restaurant.

According to Detective Sergeant Quinn, Giovanni Cruz walked into the Lawrence eatery at 7:36 p.m., while Kevin Cruz was working, serving customers tacos and burritos. Giovanni Cruz allegedly opened fire several times at his romantic rival.

Mortally wounded, the Far Rockaway victim was rushed to Jamaica hospital and pronounced dead nearly three hours later, according to police.

Giovanni Cruz, on the other hand, met a different fate on a Lawrence street not far from the Taco Bell.

After the shooting, he fled the crime scene and was later found three blocks away on Park Avenue, dead with a gunshot wound in the chest from his own gun, in what police sources are calling an apparent suicide.

The investigation is ongoing, according to the homicide detective.

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