Police don't say why 24-year-old Victor Cruz was walking down a dark street in Pleasant Grove at 4 o'clock on Monday morning with his backpack. That's just where he happened to be when the silver Pontiac pulled up beside him.
The man that stepped from the driver's seat was carrying a silver pistol, which he racked as he stepped toward Cruz. "What are you doing to my truck?" the man demanded. "I seen you, and my mom seen you, too. I have two under my gun, and I don't mind having a third."
Even if we knew the suspected gunman's identity -- he hasn't been arrested, so police aren't releasing his name -- it'd probably be impossible to know whether he has, in fact, murdered two people or whether this was simply a colorful way of illustrating how serious he was. If true, however, you can be sure that he was extremely apologetic.
Cruz, not wanting to take any chances, invited the gunman to search his pockets and backpack which, after wedging the gun securely underneath his armpit, is exactly what he did. "OK, you don't have anything that belongs to me," he finally conceded, then drove off.
Any sense of relief was short-lived. The silver Pontiac was back two minutes later and so was the gun, which was now pointed at Cruz's head. "Stop lying, my mom just called back saying it was you," he said. Then, more softly: "Do me a favor and give me an ID so I can get a picture of it for my own security because my kids are there."
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Cruz didn't have an ID on him, which made the gunman very upset, but did offer to fetch one from his house, which was a couple of blocks away. "All right, get in my truck and I'll take you," the man said. Cruz fetched his ID. The man, sitting in the driver's seat with the gun now in his lap, snapped a photo with his cell phone.
"OK, cool. I need this for my protection. My bad for pulling my gun, but I had to do it for my protection," he said, then drove off.
But that still wasn't quite the end of the things. Though seven hours should have been more than enough time to sleep off whatever fueled the weird, gun-wielding demands, the driver of the silver Pontiac was back at 11 a.m., pounding on Cruz's door. Cruz, it turns out, wasn't home, but a family member was. The driver asked them to pass along a message: "Tell Victor he needs to come up with $180 or I'll be back with a search warrant and police."
Nor was that the end. He returned 20 minutes later and apologized for "having an attitude," then shook the family member's hand.