Veteran Allegedly Fatally Shot while Helping Crash Victim

The Volusia County Sheriff's Office is offering a reward of $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the killing of Carlos Cruz, whose death they say appears to be the result of his effort to help a stranger.

At this point in the investigation, sheriff’s detectives say they believe Cruz heard the suspect vehicle having trouble near his home. 

Investigators say they believe that he offered to help by bringing his truck to help pull the car free from the ditch where it was stuck. 

Instead, they say he was shot to death and his truck was stolen.

Investigators say the vehicle that Cruz may have been offering to help get out of the ditch turned out to have been stolen. 

Cruz was an Army veteran and was married for 34 years. 

Officials say Cruz was well-known to them, since he was the brother-in-law of a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office employee.

That employee said it was in Cruz's nature to help anyone he saw in need.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said they owe it to Mr. Cruz and his family "to find the ruthless, cold-blooded killer or killers who took his life."

Chitwood added that it "takes a special kind of evil to gun down a stranger who is only trying to help you."

Anyone with information is urged to call it in. 

Anonymous tips can be submitted to Crime Stoppers of Northeast Florida at 888-277-TIPS, on the web at

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