New Bedford murder suspect, 18, ordered held without bail

SE Mass

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — An 18-year-old man suspected of shooting two men, killing one of them, faced upgraded charges in New Bedford District Court on Monday.

Jon Zell, of Mattapoisett, was arraigned on several felonies including the murder of 40-year-old Angel Cruz. No plea was entered and Zell was ordered held without bail.

The shooting took place around 10:30 a.m. Friday in the area of Lafrance Street. According to the office of Bristol County District Attorney Thomas Quinn, Cruz was found suffering from a gunshot wound and rushed to St. Luke’s Hospital, where he later died.

The second victim, a 32-year-old New Bedford man, crashed his vehicle in the area of Linden and County streets while trying to drive himself to the hospital, Quinn’s office said. At last check, he was in stable condition at Rhode Island Hospital.

About 45 minutes after the shooting, Zell was spotted near the intersection of Penniman and Reynolds streets. The DA’s office said he fired several rounds at police as they approached and the officers returned fire, but no one was hit.

While it’s still early in the investigation, Quinn told 12 News the motive for the shooting is currently unclear.

“I mean, this is broad daylight … two individuals fixing a car and he opens fire on them,” he said Monday.

Zell was arrested on several counts of armed assault with intent to murder, but additional charges were filed over the weekend. In addition to murder, he now faces charges of carrying an illegal firearm, carrying a loaded illegal firearm, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a building, and 10 counts of armed assault with intent to murder.

Prosecutors requested a competency hearing for Zell and the court agreed to schedule one.

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