Nightclub Murder Suspect Heads To Court

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HARTFORD — The man suspected of shooting and killing a Manchester man at Up Or On The Rocks on Aug. 4 heads to court today.

Mike Cruz, 23, whose last known address was in East Hartford, was seen poolside at Disney in Orlando, Fla. Friday and later taken into custody by U.S. federal marshals and members of a fugitive task force. The task force works with the Hartford police Major Crimes Division.

He was extradited to Connecticut and arrested on a warrant charging him with murder, first-degree reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a pistol/revolver, police said.

There have been two murders this summer outside the Hartford nightclub at 50 Union Place. Both fights started inside Up Or On The Rocks then continued outside after the club closed.

Brian Simpe of Manchester was shot and killed during the altercation, police said.

Cruz has six previous arrests in Hartford, some of which were for alleged gun offenses.

By Christine Dempsey, Hartford Courant

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