Arrest in Yigo Pet Killer Case; Suspect Admits to Killing Cat

by Cyrus Luhr
Stripes Guam

Guam, October 12, 2018 - Detectives of the Guam Police Department (GPD) yesterday arrested Gerald Wayne Cruz II for a series of gruesome pet killings in Yigo. He is charged with two counts of Animal Cruelty (as a Third Degree Felony), with a special allegation of Possession or Use of a Deadly Weapon in the Commission of a Felony. More charges are possible as the case develops.

In a new development, Mr. Cruz is also being charged for the killing of a cat in May. Per a Magistrate’s Complaint filed today, witnesses saw Mr. Cruz shoot and kill a cat in a neighbor’s yard with a .22 rifle. The Complaint also states that Mr. Cruz’s wife witnessed him killing the cat, as well as his shooting and killing of a pet dog named Pugua.

Mr. Cruz admits to killing the cat, per the Complaint, but he denies killing Pugua.

The case has been forwarded to the Office of the Attorney General for prosecution. The first court appearance is scheduled for 3pm today, Friday, October 12.

The penalty for Animal Cruelty (as a Third Degree Felony) is imprisonment for up 3 years (or up to 5 years if an individual has prior convictions), and a fine of up to $5,000. Additionally, the use of a firearm in commiting a felony may result in a minimum of 5 years imprisonment.

“These killings were gruesome and senseless,” said Cyrus Luhr, GAIN Board President. “We’re relieved a suspect was arrested, and look forward to swift justice for Pugua,” he added.

GAIN recently announced a $3,000 reward for information related to the case; $1,000 to be awarded upon an arrest, and $2,000 upon conviction.

“We don’t yet know who provided the tips that cracked the case,” said Mr. Luhr, “but we look forward to giving out the reward.” GAIN will now follow-up with local authorities, as well as Guam Crimestoppers, to determine who provided the information that helped solve the case. “We believe rewards help stop animal abuse, and with the aid of local donors, we hope to provide more rewards in the future,” Mr. Luhr added.

The $3,000 reward on information on Pugua’s killer was made possible thanks to generous donations by members of the Rotary Club of Guam, Dr. Thomas Poole the Territorial Veterinarian, and additional donors who wish to remain anonymous.

“We thank GPD for their hard work on the case,” said Mr. Luhr. “The public is outraged by these horrific killings, and we’ve received many, many requests for updates. Numerous business and local leaders have stepped forward asking how they can help. We’re eager to see this case proceed and get answers.”

Mr. Cruz was arrested and confined following interviews with potential witnesses, according to a statement issued by GPD this morning. These witnesses saw Mr. Cruz make threats against Pugua; a day after, Pugua was found shot dead in a family friend’s carport. Numerous firearms and ammunition were confiscated from Mr. Cruz’s home.

A gentle and playful 2-year old Jack Russell and boonie mix, Pugua’s body was found shot and possibly beaten in the carport of a family friend who was taking care of him during the day.

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