An Indianapolis teen is accused of killing three men at random while going on a four-day crime spree inspired by the movie “The Purge,” a 2013 horror movie about a night when the government designates a period where all crimes are legal, including murder.
Johnathan Cruz, 19, was charged in the murders of Billy Boyd, Jay Higginbotham and Jose Alberto Ruiz, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry announced on June 1.
The three men were all shot multiple times and left for dead between May 12 and May 15. Cruz was arrested on May 16 on other charges.
He goes by his street name, Sav Hunna, on Facebook, and is the father of a young girl. He is a native of Orlando, Florida, according to the Facebook page. He went to Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis.
Although he has been in custody since May 16, a friend has been updating his account, including a message saying, “Free My Bro ?, They xan’t hold you for something you didn’t do… we miss and love you ? #FreeSav.”
Here’s what you need to know about Johnathan Cruz and the crime spree:
1. He Told a Witness He Had Been ‘Purging’
Cruz told a witness he had been “purging,” according to court documents, a reference to the 2013 movie “The Purge.” You can see a trailer for the horror film below:
The witness, a juvenile girl, contacted police on May 15 and told detectives Cruz, her drug supplier, had told her he had been “purging.” She said Cruz told her he had shot aman in the back of the head, and said he tried to show her a video of one of the shootings.
Police said the details the girl gave to them were consistent with the three shootings, and included information that hadn’t been made public, according to the probable cause affidavit.
You can read the full affidavit below:
According to prosecutors, Billy Boyd was found dead May 12 on a sidewalk in the 3900 block of North College Avenue. He was found by police at 12:48 a.m. An autopsy showed he was shot twice in the head. There were no witnesses to the killing, police said.
At 4:23 a.m. that same day, police found Jay Higginbotham’s body on the sidewalk in the 900 block of North Denny Street.
Witnesses said Higginbotham was walking down the street when a car pulled up and stopped in front of him. Higginbotham asked the person in the car “Why did ya’ll pull up like that?” He also said he didn’t want any problems.
Police said Cruz got out of the car and tried to pick a fight with Higginbotham, but he walked away. Cruz then told Higginbotham he wanted his money, but Higginbotham ran, witnesses say. Police said Cruz then pulled out a gun and shot Higginbotham multiple times, until he felll. He then searched the victim’s pockets and called him a “n*gga,” before fleeing.
Jose Alberto Ruiz was found dead in a vehicle near the intersection of East Washington Street and North Linwood Avenue at 4:39 a.m. on May 15. There were no witnesses of the shooting. Ruiz died of a single gunshot wound to the head or neck, police said.
2. Cruz Is Also Accused of Several Robberies, Kidnapping, Intimidation & Battery
Cruz faces several charges related to the spree in addition to the murder counts, prosecutors say.
Prosecutors say that on May 14, he and an accomplice assaulted and robbed someone at about 6 a.m. The victim said he was robbed at gunpoint by two men for cash and two cell phones.
He is accused of attempted robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, two counts of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, armed robbery, intimidation and two counts of pointing a firearm.
He was arrested on May 16 in a separate case and charged with criminal confinement, kidnapping, intimidation and battery. In that case, Cruz is accused of holding a girl against her will in a Wendy’s restaurant, in her car and at her home.
Cruz has been in custody since that arrest on $200,000 bail.
3. Another Man Is Charged With Being an Accomplice During 1 of the Robberies
A second man, Steven Clark, also known as Rayvaughn Wood, is accused of being Cruz’s accomplice during one of the robberies.
Prosecutors say Clark is charged with armed robbery, a felony. The robbery occurred on May 14.
They are accused of stealing $200 in cash and two cell phones from the victim, and then striking him in the head with a handgun before fleeing.
4. He Texted His Mom & Friends About the Murders,
Court documents show that Cruz texted his friends and mother during the crime spree, sending them messages about the murders. One of the text messages was a link to a local news station’s story about one of the killings.
Police said he also posted videos and photos on social media during the spree. In one of the videos he and another man hold guns up to the camera.
In one text exchange with his mother, she asked him, “what r u doin,” and he replied with a screenshot of a Fox 59 news story with the headline “Breaking: Homicide detectives are investigating an early morning fatal shooting on the east side.” The story was about the Ruiz murder, police said.
Cruz also sent texts to one of his girlfriends, telling her to go to Facebook and “watch da videos of me shooting people,” according to court documents. He told her, “I Purge every night now. Since im dieing someone else Has to. Alot of people fuk dat.”
He also sent text messages to other girlfriends and unidentified numbers with the screenshot, and saying he wanted to sell a gun, police said.
5. Cruz Is a Member of the Bloods & Posted Photos Showing His Gang Activity on Social Media, Police Say
Police said they found evidence on Cruz’s phone and social media accounts depicting gang activity.
In one series of text messages, Cruz says he is a “gang leader” of the Bloods.
His case has been given a “criminal gang enhancement,” which would double the sentence for any of his crimes if he is convicted.
Cruz had his Facebook page changed by a friend while in jail, apparently to try to cover up some of his posts. According to court documents he told the friend to “switch everything around,” and to make his profile picture a photo of him with his daughter.