New York Police Department officers mistook an unarmed Bronx bodega worker for a robbery suspect and fatally shot him, witnesses told the New York Daily News. Raynaldo Cuevas, 20, was trapped with three masked gunman in the Nathalie Deli & Grocery store after they burst into the bodega.
Cuevas tried to escape the armed robbers, only to be shot by a police officer instead, witnesses say. "They thought he was one of the robbers, but he just worked there, and they shot him," witness Jose Garcia told the Daily News. And another witness said that the police officers failed to warn Cuevas or order him to stop before killing him.
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An anonymous law enforcement source confirmed the witness accounts to the New York Post: “The store was being robbed and police responded and shot a worker by mistake,” the source told the Post. And yet another witness told NBC that Cuevas was just trying to get away from the robber.
After Cuevas fell, a police officer dragged him away from the scene by one of his arms, the New York Times reported. “He came out scared. The cops didn’t say anything; no one did,” an anonymous witness told the Times. “He ran out with his hands out, and they shot him.”