Police: Shooter has change of heart in murder-for-hire plot

Posted: Updated:
WESTBURY -

Two men were arrested in a murder-for-hire plot after police say the would-be shooter had a change of heart.

Police say Herbert Hernandez, of Westbury, was paid $500 and given a pistol by Hamen Gonzalez-Cruz to kill a man involved in a love triangle. Gonzalez-Cruz allegedly wanted the victim out of the picture because he had an ongoing relationship with the victim's girlfriend. 

Police say Hernandez was unable to shoot the intended victim Monday afternoon. They say Hernandez fired a round into the ground and one into the air in front of the Uptown Restaurant Grill in Westbury.

Nassau Police PIO officer Vincent Garcia says a 911 call was placed, and both Hernandez and Gonzalez-Cruz were located behind 1000 Prospect Ave. Police say responding officers saw Hernandez drop the gun. 

Gonzalez-Cruz was charged with conspiracy and criminal facilitation. Hernandez was charged with conspiracy, criminal possession of a firearm, reckless endangerment and menacing.

Both men pleaded not guilty in court.

Hernandez's attorney Adam Neal says his client is innocent.

"He denies ever attempting to hurt anyone," says Neal.
 

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