Times Ledger - Ozone Park grocery-store fire injures 17...
Twelve firefighters and five civilians were sent to Jamaica Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation, although all the injuries were minor, he said.
The cause of the fire was being investigated, the official said.
NY Daily News...Dad of 7 Shot in Face in Queens Bodega Heist..
A bodega owner - and father of seven daughters - was shot in the face and gravely injured last night in Queens during the latest in a string of similar holdups in the area, police sources said.
"They finally [shot] someone," a law enforcement source said of the 9:30 p.m. robbery at Kennedy Mini Market on 131st St. in South Ozone Park.
Bolivar Cruz was taken to Jamaica Hospital.
"Three guys came in. One pointed the gun at me. It was a big gun. He said, 'Get down on the floor,'" said Maximo Cruz, 62, an employee at the bodega. "I went down, then I heard the shot - boom. He shot Bolivar in the face."
"I tried to help him. It's terrible," said Cruz, who is not related to the victim.
Three men, armed with a handgun and shotgun, fled the scene, police said.
The trio hit another bodega only 10 minutes before the botched robbery in South Ozone Park, a police source said.
Bolivar Cruz, 56, was a businessman who emigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 1999 and had seven adult daughters, said a family friend, who declined to give his name.
"He owned the place. He owned the building next-door and all the property to the corner. It's a family business," he said of the bodega. "Almost everybody who worked there was related."
"He was a very hardworking man," said another relative, who did not give his name. "This is a horrible neighborhood."
Police believe the robbery fits a larger pattern, sources said.
The three armed crooks target one location, then rob another nearby while cops respond to the first holdup, said one police source.
No arrests were made last night.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says the three men suspected of shooting a Queens bodega clerk in the face Monday night are being linked to 13 other robberies since March.
Investigators say 53-year-old Bolivar Cruz was shot Monday night at the Kennedy Mini-Mart on 135th Avenue in South Ozone Park. Cruz was taken to Jamaica hospital in critical condition.
Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says Cruz, a licensed gun owner, pulled his gun, but was not able to fire off a shot before he was hit.
Neighbors describe Cruz as a devoted husband and father to his daughters and son. Some of his children came from the hospital around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. They lit candles, and placed flowers, balloons and a sign with all their names in front of the store.
Friends and neighbors are shocked by the shooting.
"Just take the money and run, I mean, money always comes back ,” said Cruz’s friend Danny Reyes. “You got a business, you'll get it back. Here take the money. But why shoot a man?"
"It was that mom and pop store that doesn't exist in many communities anymore, for reasons like this," said bodega patron Robert Siverls.
"He was a very nice person. I think this whole neighborhood is gonna really miss somebody, if anything happened to him,” said a neighbor. “He's kind. He’d feed the birds. He’d feed the poor people and give them something."
NYPD investigators believe the same three men hit a store about a mile and a half away just a few minutes earlier. No one was hurt in that robbery.
"These were three males,” said Kelly. “The description that we have now was that they were two black males and one male Hispanics, as reported by one of the witnesses. They displayed two guns."
Police are scouring the neighborhood, handing out fliers, and putting up posters seeking any information about the shooting. Police are offering a $2,000 reward for information leading up to an arrest and conviction in this case.
“We certainly consider them to be very dangerous,” said Kelly.
Police say they are looking for a red four-door vehicle, possibly a Lexus.
"I couldn't believe it, I really couldn't believe it. I don't see how someone could do something to such a good guy," one resident said.
At 131st and 135th Avenue police are trying to sort through what happened. Late Monday night there was a violent robbery. The owner of a corner store was shot in the face, according to authorities.
The victim was in the store working. Neighborhood residents say he's the type of person who is always willing to lend a helping hand.
"He was a great guy, very generous," one resident said.
"Like a family member ... I can't believe that this happened around here. It's just crazy," another resident told us.
The victim was transported to Jamaica Hospital. Late Monday night, authorities say he is listed in critical condition.Newsday.com: Queens Bodega Owner Shot in Face...by Rocco Parascandola
There have been more than a dozen similar robberies since then, police said, but the most violent occurred Monday night when Bolivar Cruz, 56 who is a father of seven, was shot in the face, apparently while pulling out a gun of his own in a failed attempt to thwart the suspects.
The shooting happened at Kennedy Mini Market, on 131st Street in South Ozone Park. Ten minutes earlier, police said, the suspects struck at the Allen Deli, on the Van Wyck Expressway service road.
Cruz was in critical condition at Jamaica Medical Center.
Gothamist: Bodega Owner Shot During Robbery...Jenny Chung...
Last night, a bodega owner in Queens was shot in the face during an attempted robbery. Bolivar Cruz, father of seven, is now in critical condition, and police suspect that the robbery might be connected to another robbery - and to many others in the area.
Cruz was closing his Kennedy Mini Market at 131st Street in South Ozone Park when three men entered and shot him at 9:30PM. There was another robbery 10 minutes earlier; according to the Daily News, police believe "the three armed crooks target one location, then rob another nearby while cops respond to the first holdup."
WNBC reported that Cruz immigrated from the Dominican Republic in 1999 and was able to buy his store's building and other property neighborhood in the past few years. Neighbors are upset and shocked at the shooting, especially since Cruz was well-liked. One said he was "Like a family member ... I can't believe that this happened around here. It's just crazy."