Thursday, July 28, 1977

Grocer Is Held as Revenge Killer After Slaying of His Wife in Holdup

A Brooklyn grocer whose wife was shot to death by robbers Monday night was arrested on a murder charge yesterday afternoon, accused of having killed one of his wife’s assailants.

The grocer, Hector Sepulveda, who became a widower and a murder suspect within 24 hours, was found in Maimonides Hospital, where he had been admitted under an assumed name, after his 18-year-old son, Hector Jr.,was arrested and told police where his father was.

The son, the father, and a family friend, Felix Diou, 51, were said to have waited all day Tuesday in a station wagon on a block of Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn for Berrios Santiago, 38, who the police said was one of three men who robbed Mr. S’s grocery Monday night. During the robbery Gladys S. 33, was slain. “For $200 they shot my mother in the head.”

At 5:30pm Tuesday, the S’s and Mr. Diou allegedly approached Mr. Santiago while he sat in front of the house where he lived in Park Slope. There was a brief gun battle with 10 rounds fired. Mr. Santiago died on the sidewalk. Mr. S was wounded, but fled with his son while Mr. Diou was arrested and booked on a murder charge.

Olga Cruz said that people in the neighborhood believed Mr. Sepulveda had given the police an exact description of the robbers and their getaway car, but that the police didn’t do anything about it. Police, however, said they thought Mr. Sepulveda had a much better idea of who had killed his wife than he had given police.

excerpt from Molly Ivins NYT 7/28/77

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