Florida Keys

A murder mystery: Who shot former code officer in the head?

Key West police aren’t saying much about the shooting death of a former building inspector and code officer.
Key West police aren’t saying much about the shooting death of a former building inspector and code officer.

A week after finding a man on the floor of his home with a fatal gunshot wound to the head, Key West police have said little about the death they deemed a homicide from the start.

John Harold Cruz, 58, a former Key West city code officer and building inspector, was shot in the back of the head with a handgun, Police Chief Donie Lee said on US1 Radio.

The body was found about 11:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at Cruz’s home at 312 Peacon Ln., near the city’s historic seaport.

Other than the location of the head wound and a general description of the firearm used, Lee remained tight-lipped about the investigation. No suspects or witnesses — other than Cruz’s wife who called police that night — have been identified, let alone a narrative of events leading up to the shooting.

“We’re just being thorough,” Lee said told the radio station. “It’s apparent Mr. Cruz was shot in the back of the head with a handgun. That’s all I can tell you at this time.”

Cruz’ wife, Jane Carolyn Cruz, 67, called police, Lee said, but he would not say whether anyone else was at the home that night.

Friends remembered Cruz as well-liked and affable and this week remained stunned over the homicide, so rare in Key West. The last one was in 2012.

Cruz was hired Aug. 29, 2005, as a code inspector and promoted one year later to code specialist. In 2007, he was named building inspector, a job he held until he resigned in 2013, having last earned an annual salary of $50,836.

Cruz has seven commendations in his employee file, city officials said.

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen

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