Family doesn't buy story in shooting

April 15, 2008 3:10:56 AM PDT
For the first time, we are hearing from the grandmother of a young woman who was shot and killed in the Bronx.The shooting happened right in front of the victim's 14-month-old son. Now, her family says they don't buy her boyfriend's story that the shooting was part of a robbery.

Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson has more.

Carlos Cruz spoke with detectives at the precinct Monday. He says he often came to the Bronx with his fiance, Chelsea Frazier, to go shopping. The couple lives just outside of Boston. But what happened Sunday was anything but a leisurely trip to Old Navy. Cruz told police he was shot in the leg and robbed, and that the gunman killed Chelsea. End of story? Some say not by a longshot.

Anxious relatives waited outside the 43rd Precinct, where, inside, they say Cruz talked with investigators for hours. He was reportedly looking through pages of mug shots, trying to identify the person he says shot and killed his fiance while the couple's young son watched in horror from his carseat.

It all unfolded in a desolate section of the Bronx around 4 p.m. Sunday. Cruz' uncle, Harry Miller, said his nephew is not handling the situation well. He said, according to Cruz, the couple was shopping for the toddler in White Plains when someone began following them, eyeing Cruz' gold chain.

Cruz and Frazier got into their car, and Cruz told police he then got lost. He said a man approached, pulled out a gun, tried to grab the chain and started firing.

Cruz was struck in the leg. Frazier was fatally hit. The young boy was not hurt. Several witnesses said they remembered seeing something odd just after the shooting.

"There were several pops, and a few of us saw it was a dark, hunter green Isuzu and just peeled in reverse up the street," witness Gisela Chevettiss said.

But Frazier's relatives, who live in the Boston area, say they're not buying the robbery story. They say the 21-year-old Frazier had tried several times to break up with Cruz and leave with the baby.

"It just doesn't ring right," grandmother Shirley Manthorne said. "There's been so many robberies. This hasn't happened, to this extent. With a baby in the backseat?"

The Cruz family says all the wild accusations boil down to what they expect will be a bitter custody battle over the boy, Elijah, who is now with Frazier's relatives.