A fast-food worker obsessed with “ghost guns” killed a man and hurt two apparently innocent bystanders when he opened fire with one of the untraceable weapons in a Bronx store early Tuesday, cops and sources said.
Edison Cruz, 25 — who has been accused of repeatedly ordering online parts for the makeshift weapons and having them mailed to his elderly parents’ home — was nabbed at the eatery where he works on Jerome Avenue thanks to cops poring over surveillance footage in the area, law-enforcement sources said.
Cruz had chased his 31-year-old target into a bodega in Mount Hope around 12:50 a.m. and wildly opened fire, according to cops and police sources.
The shooting on East Burnside Avenue near Grand Concourse occurred during the first hours of the deployment of additional NYPD night patrols throughout the city, although a high-ranking police source said the extra roaming groups of officers were not in the shop’s neighborhood overnight.
“Those commands rotate based on events,” the source said Tuesday.
Cruz’s victim — a man with a long criminal history whose identity has not been released pending family notification — took a bullet to the back of his head and was pronounced dead at the scene, authorities and sources said.
Two other people inside the store — a man and woman, both 34 — were struck in the fray and were not believed to be the intended targets, according to police.
Dramatic surveillance footage captured fatal triple shooting in the BronxSharePlay Video
The man was shot in the left arm and the woman in the torso, cops said.
Both were taken to St. Barnabas Hospital, where the woman was listed as critical and the man remained in stable condition, according to police.
Cruz was arrested and charged with murder in the second degree, manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon, cops said.
The motive remained unclear.
Cruz has been on cops’ radar for ghost guns — and other weapons, including a grenade launcher — dating back to 2020, law-enforcement sources said.
He has been arrested three times but was set free the first two times because the charges weren’t bail eligible under New York State’s controversial bail laws. On his third arrest, bail was initially set at $15,000 but after an application by his attorney he was released in July under the supervision of alternative justice group Bronx Connect, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office said.
“This is the poster child for [the dangerousness of] ghost guns,” a source told The Post.
Cruz was arrested in June 2020 when he was spotted walking through The Bronx with a bulletproof vest and a grenade launcher strapped to his back, authorities said. Cops eventually recovered an operable shotgun, two “ghost” Polymer 80 handgun receivers, manufacturing tools and Glock parts from his family’s home, where he was living, according to officials and law-enforcement sources.
About two months later, Cruz allegedly hit his mother in the face with a plastic takeout container of pasta during a dispute, according to the complaint against him. “You’re not gonna grow to be old,” Cruz said told his mother, according to her account in the complaint.
“I’m going to kill you and then I’m going to kill myself.”
Responding police officers found a loaded ghost gun, multiple gun parts and another ballistic vest in the home, sources said. Cruz, who had a hatchet as well, told responding officers he used the guns “for educational purposes,” the complaint said.
The second arrest sparked a special investigation into Cruz that found he continued to order shipments of gun parts in the spring of 2021, sources said.
A resulting search warrant May 11, 2021, found a completed ghost handgun, four P80 handgun receivers, an AR-15 lower receiver and upper receiver, another bulletproof vest and multiple other handgun parts and magazines, sources said.
His parents had obtained orders of protection against him earlier that month, which prohibited Cruz from possessing any firearms, a criminal complaint said.
“These are my toys,” Cruz allegedly told cops in an interview related to that arrest, according to the complaint. “It’s a hobby of mine. Those parts are to make firearms. That’s a loaded firearm. I don’t sell guns. I’ve sold parts in the past, but never a completed gun.”
The Bronx DA requested $15,000 after that case but Cruz was released into Bronx Connect’s care two months later, on July 9, 2021. He is due back in court on those charges May 19.
“If you are carrying or possessing illegal weapons and get arrested, and they let you out, and then you’re arrested again with more illegal weapons, and they let you out, the logical question is, what does it take to get someone with a gun held in jail when they keep showing us how dangerous they are?” a law enforcement source told The Post.
“Does it take them having to commit a murder? At least in this case it appears so. That’s a problem now.”
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