Antonio Tovar - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Antonio Tovar

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WSVN -- Tony Tovar came from Cuba in the 80s, not looking for a handout, but wanting to put his hands to work.

Noraidys Galendez, Tony's Niece: "He would support his mother that was in Cuba. The sons, the granddaughters, his son that was in Cuba at that time, everybody."

Tony eventually took his hard work ethic to New Jersey and opened several businesses, sharing his success along the way.

Noraidys Galendez, Tony's Niece: "People would ask him for money or something, or if he knew people were without a job or something, unemployed, he would help that person. It was the heart that he had, that he couldn't say no."

Tony liked flashy things. His favorite: This gold chain.

Noraidys Galendez, Tony's Niece: "When I saw the chain, I was like, 'Wow! That's big. It's heavy.' And he was like, 'Oh, this is my joy right here.'"

The solid gold chain was valued at over $30,000, contained a large jeweled medallion and Tony's name.

And Tony didn't go anywhere without it.

Noraidys Galendez, Tony's Niece: "We used to tell him, 'Why don't you take that off? I mean, the economy's bad, people are looking to see who they can rob.' And he was like, 'Oh no. Before they take it away from me, they have to kill me.'"

And they did. When Tony came to spend the day with his family in Hialeah...

911 Caller, in Spanish: "Hey, please. A robbery with a gun. One person dead."

Three men were waiting when Antonio walked from a family home to his car.

Operator, in Spanish: "Where was he shot?"

911 Caller, in Spanish: "In the chest."

Sergeant Hubert Ruiz, Hialeah Police Department: "Upon walking to the waiting car with friends, he was ambushed by three black males with firearms. He attempted to struggle a little bit and hold on to his chain to no avail. He was shot dead."

Noraidys Galendez, Tony's Niece: "And after he was dead on the floor with his eyes wide open, they took the chain away from his neck."

Patrick Fraser: "They had what they had killed for: Tony's chain. As they turned to run through here, Tony's cousin tried to stop them. They shot her too.

Fortunately, the bullet just grazed her, and the three suspects got away."

Sergeant Hubert Ruiz, Hialeah Police Department: "Our investigation shows that this was nothing more than an ambush, and nothing more than cold murder."

The suspects have not been found. Neither has that gold chain that Antonio loved that cost him his life.

Sergeant Hubert Ruiz, Hialeah Police Department: "We tried to track it down. Our hunch is it was melted down for, obviously, its worth."

The family isn't concerned about the chain, of course.

Noraidys Galendez, Tony's Niece: "We're devasted with this."

It's the killers they want.

Noraidys Galendez, Tony's Niece: "My best wish is that they find those murderers, because the same way they killed my uncle, they could kill other people, innocent people."

Two and a half years ago, a good man was gunned down.

Since then, three worthless men have roamed around. Odds are they have killed again...They don't care about people...But a detective cares about catching them..

Sergeant Hubert Ruiz, Hialeah Police Department: "It's the right thing to do. Someone's family member was killed, and it could be yours."

If you remember seeing someone showing off this chain a couple of years ago, if you know anything about the three people who killed for it, give Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers a call.

And if you have lost a loved one and want to show you are still Out for Justice, give us a call.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers: 305-471-TIPS

Out For Justice: 305-598-HELP (4357) in Miami-Dade or 954-796-HELP (4357) in Broward

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