An absolutely chilling cell phone video taken by an unidentified witness shows the final moments of a military veteran’s life, CBS Boston reports.
Stephen Perez, 22, who served two tours of duty in the Middle East with the U.S. Army as a sniper, was shot to death following a late-night brawl that erupted during a night out with friends in Boston’s Theater District last April.
The video shows a confrontation arising after a woman said something to Perez and his friends, kicking their car as they were trying to leave. Perez responded and said something back, which prompted an all-out brawl between two groups of people. The fight was brutal — several punches were thrown, many connected.
In the video, a man can later be seen retrieving a handgun from his waist, holding it steadily as he finds his target.
Perez’s cousin told CBS Boston that his family can barely stand to watch the video.
“You can hear the girl on the video saying, ‘He’s got a gun,’ and I just got choked up thinking, the next thing I’m going to see is him getting shot,” Mark Bruno said.
However, the video ends before the fatal shot that killed Perez rings out. Police say the shooter, identified as Peter Castillo, cowardly shot Perez in the back after he turned away.
“It’s the most cowardice thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Boston police officer Marc Sullivan said on “America’s Most Wanted.”
Surveillance video from the parking garage shows the gunman seen in the cell phone footage fleeing the scene, still gripping his gun. Another man involved in the fight, wearing a blue shirt, was also caught on the surveillance camera running from the garage.
Police believe Castillo has fled to the Dominican Republic. The suspect previously lived in Salem, Mass.
“He’s going to be brought to justice whether they snatch him up out of the Dominican Republic or not,” Bruno added. “Everyone has their judgement day.”
The video first appeared on “America’s Most Wanted.” You can watch the “America’s Most Wanted” segment below: