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Store Owner Shot, Killed During Attempted Robbery

BOSTON (CBS) – Three men have been arrested after the owner of a Mission Hill hardware store was shot and killed during an attempted robbery.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans says the owner of AC Hardware on Tremont Street was fatally shot just after 4 p.m. Tuesday afternoon.

Just a few weeks ago, the mayor honored the victim, Andres Cruz, and store as Business of the Year in Mission Hill.

AC Hardware
Boston Police outside AC Hardware after fatal shooting (WBZ-TV)

Law enforcement sources tell The Boston Globe the 58-year-old grandfather was shot dead this afternoon during a botched holdup.

The three suspects allegedly involved in the shooting led police on a brief chase before they were taken into custody. The suspects have been identified as 21-year-old Christian Soto-Olivero of Mattapan, 38-year-old Jerome D. Hobson of Dorchester, and 26-year-old Shawn Redden of Brockton. They will be charged with murder and firearm related charges.

Andres Cruz
Banner honoring Andres Cruz for Business of the Year (WBZ-TV)

Evans described the shooting as a "brutal, cowardly act."

"This was brazen daytime shooting of a good, well-respected man doing the right thing," Evans said. "Thanks to a quick response by my officers, we believe we have the three cowards responsible for this homicide in custody."

Customers described the longtime hardware store owner as a "salt of the earth" guy.

"A cordial hello when you walk in, if he couldn't find something for you he would look for it and search it out," said customer Bruce Bickerstaff.

Walsh said Cruz was a family man and visited him recently on a trolley tour of the neighborhood.

Andres Cruz
Andres Cruz (Courtesy image)

"This is different than what we're dealing with on a day to day basis," Walsh told reporters at the scene. "Allegedly we have three real punks here who came into this neighborhood and brought a lot of pain and suffering to this community."

The identities of the suspects have not been released.

The Suffolk County District Attorney says at least one suspect will be arraigned in West Roxbury District Court Wednesday morning. One or both of the other suspects may be arraigned at Brigham & Women's Hospital or Boston Medical Center, where they were treated for injuries they sustained during the attempted robbery.

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