In a tragic, all-to-familiar set of circumstances, a man who took over ownership of a Queens Bodega after his cousin had been shot and killed during a robbery eight years ago, was himself shot to death during a robbery of that same store on Saturday night.
Fifty-four year-old Juan Torres was about to close the Lucky Grocery and Deli on Merrick Boulevard at around 10 p.m. when he was approached by a robber who walked up to him, grabbed him and dragged him over the counter and demanded cash. When Torres refused, the unidentified robber shot him in the head, and left with an undisclosed amount of cash.
“I just want my father back,” said one of Torres’ sons, Aneudy, fighting through tears.
Felix Torres, Mr. Torres’ brother, was at the bodega during the time of the attack, and proceeded to call 911 after hearing a gunshot. When the police and emergency medical services arrived, the victim was pronounced dead at the scene.
On February 20th, 2002, Ramon Adams, the 34-year-old cousin of the owner, was shot and killed during an armed robbery. A suspect in that murder was later arrested in North Carolina. Torres began working at the Lucky Strike following Adams’ death.
Torres was an avid Mets fan, and was watching the National League Championship Game between the Giants and the Phillies at the time of the attack.
There were security cameras installed at the store, however, they weren’t working at the time, officials said.
Police are now on the hunt for suspect described as a black man in his late-30’s or early-40’s last seen wearing a black sweatshirt.