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Tribute to teen injured in officer-involved shooting in Wethersfield grows

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A tribute to 18-year-old Anthony Jose Vega Cruz, known to his friends as “Chulo,” continues to grow outside his childhood home in Hartford.

“This is his family,” said family friend Richard Dakers. “This is… This right here was everything to him.
Everybody you see was everything to him.”

“He was an angel alive and he’s an angel now,” said childhood friend Deziree Laboy. “We love you, Chulo. His name was Chulo. Papi Chulo.”

Cruz’s friends are very vocal about their love for him and their call for what they say is justice.

State police are investigating the officer-involved shooting Saturday in Wethersfield which left the teen fighting for his life. Two bullet holes can be seen in the windshield of the car Cruz was driving, which police suspected was stolen because the plates didn’t match the vehicle.

Related Content: State police identify passengers in car in Wethersfield shooting

They said officers attempted to pull the car over. It then collided with a police cruiser and reportedly drove toward an officer who fired at the driver. Cruz’s girlfriend was in the car, but wasn’t hurt. She doesn’t face any charges.

“Every time we see a cop, we have to duck and hide,” said Laboy. “You know what we mean? We can’t even sit and just say ‘hi’ cause they think… We don’t even feel protected anymore at all.”

“For him to go unexpectedly like this out of nowhere unexpectedly like that… he wasn’t a bad kid,” said Dakers. “Ain’t nobody can say anything to slander his past.”

Along with the growing tribute celebrating the teen’s life, there are messages of ‘Rest In Peace’ because his friends say Cruz, who is listed in critical condition, is on life support.

Related Content: State Police investigate officer-involved shooting in Wethersfield

“His brother just came to say ‘hi’ to us and he couldn’t even stay,” said Dakers. “It was just too much for him.”

“We already preparing ourselves for the worst,” said Laboy.

A young life they fear may soon be lost.

“No matter how long, how hard we pray for bro to come back, we know the scientific and everything about it. He… it’s tough to say,” added Dakers.

Web Extra: Protest held over officer-involved shooting in Wethersfield

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