PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Phoenix police say they’ve made an arrest in connection to a deadly shooting at a north Phoenix fast-food restaurant that happened over the weekend. Luis Fernando Parra Cruz, 39, claims self-defense in the death of 51-year-old Benigno Rivera Figueroa, according to court documents.
Phoenix police said Tuesday that Cruz was arrested for murder after investigators say he was involved in a fight with another customer, later identified as Figueroa, at Julioberto’s Mexican Food near 3rd Street and Dunlap around 4 a.m. Sunday morning. Officers who responded to the report of a shooting found Figueroa dead at the scene and learned that the suspect had driven away.
Per court documents, investigators spoke with restaurant employees after the shooting. They told police that Figueroa walked up to a white SUV in the drive-thru and began arguing with the driver, Cruz, who then shot him in the head. According to an employee, Cruz reportedly said, “I think I killed him,” then asked if the restaurant had security cameras. When employees said yes, Cruz reportedly drove away.
The documents go on to say that detectives reviewed the surveillance video, which shows Figueroa get out of his car and walk up to the SUV in front of him at the drive-thru. The men argue, then Figueroa reportedly punched the pillar that separates the driver’s side window from the backseat window. Police said Figueroa also pointed his finger at Cruz during the short exchange before Cruz shot him. The video captured the license plate number of the 2022 GMC Terrain that Cruz was driving. Officers recovered a single .45 caliber casing near Figueroa’s body.
Police also interviewed a man who was the passenger in Figueroa’s car. He reportedly told police that he and Figueroa had been out drinking before going to Julioberto’s. He said Figueroa became upset at the driver in front of them “for taking too long,” and got out of the car. The passenger told police he started to fall asleep before hearing a pop.
Police found and arrested Cruz on Monday, who was booked into jail on one count of second-degree murder. Officers also recovered the handgun they believe was used in the shooting.
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