Mother of Slain Deli Worker Collapses as Family Calls for Grand Jury Probe

The family is asking for a grand jury investigation

The mother of a deli worker killed by a police bullet collapsed on Sunday, minutes into a news conference outside the Bronx district attorney's office where supporters requested a grand jury probe into her son's death.

Her fainting spell underscored the family's anguish since watching surveillance footage released by the NYPD, which shows 20-year old Reynaldo Cuevas running out of the Bronx bodega that had been held up by armed robbers, and stumbling into a police officer whose gun went off, killing him.

"He went to ask for help," said Cuevas' brother, Joel Cuevas. "And the help that he went to get was the help that killed him."

A wake will be held Tuesday for Reynaldo Cuevas from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Ortiz Funeral Home in Washington Heights. His funeral will be held later this week in the Dominican Republic.

The victim's brother was among those meeting Sunday with the Bronx district attorney.

"All I want is justice," said Joel Cuevas. "My little brother, he had no problems with no one. He was working hard in the store and death came to him. I don't know why."

Police officials have said the officer's gun went off accidentally. The three men who allegedly robbed the store have been charged with murder.

The family's attorney Sanford Rubenstein said the case is far from over.

"It is not for the police commissioner to make a determination with regard to whether or not this wrongful death was accidental," Rubenstein said.

Cuevas' mother, Anna Cuevas, recovered from the fainting spell her family said was brought on by high blood pressure, but she may never recover from the shock of losing her son, she said.

"I feel dead," she told the Daily News Saturday before identifying her son's body. "It's like they killed me."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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