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Haverhill

May 22, 2014

Police: Man fired gun from car with wife, child inside

Is held without bail in Haverhill neighborhood incident

HAVERHILL — About two years ago, Christopher Burke opened his family’s home to his lifelong friend Andrea Cruz.

They’d known each other since they were toddlers growing up in Lawrence. Cruz needed a place to stay, so Burke let her move into a room in the Arch Street apartment where he lives with his wife and their six children.

Yesterday in Haverhill District Court, that lifelong friendship was put to the test when a judge approved Burke’s request for restraining orders against Andrea Cruz and her husband Eliezer Cruz, who police arrested the day before after he allegedly threatened two people with a handgun and fired as many as nine shots into the air from a car in the Mount Washington neighborhood. Police said his wife and an infant were in the car when the shots were fired and that one of the bullets may have been lodged in the outside wall of a home.

Eliezer Cruz, 25, was arrested Tuesday night in Lawrence. Police in Haverhill charged him with two counts of assault with a dangerous weapon, discharging a firearm within 500 feet of a dwelling, unlawful possession of a firearm (second offense), unlawful possession of ammunition, reckless endangerment of a child and malicious destruction of property.

At his arraignment yesterday on the charges, Cruz was ordered without bail pending a dangerousness hearing scheduled for May 28.

During the hearing, Burke testified about arguments and other problems that occurred at the home when Eliezer Cruz was there. Burke said despite his long friendship with Andrea Cruz, he wants to evict her because of the problems related to her husband.

During yesterday’s hearing, Attorney David Stuehr, who represented Cruz at his arraignment before Judge Stephen Abany, said Cruz will require a superior court certified attorney to represent him at next week’s hearing. Stuehr said the case is expected to be moved to superior court due to the severity of the charges.

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