Report: Teen's Killing Spree Based On Film 'The Purge'

| by John Freund
Johnathan CruzJohnathan Cruz

A 19-year-old Indiana man has been charged with three counts of murder after allegedly engaging in a crime spree based on the movie "The Purge."

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department stated in a press release that Johnathan Cruz is being held on $200,000 bail after being charged with 17 counts, including murder, armed robbery and intimidation.  

Cruz allegedly shot and killed three people between May 12 and May 15, reports People. All of the incidents are said to be random acts of violence, according to Marion County prosecutor Terry Curry.  

Cruz's four-day murder and robbery spree began on May 12, where, according to court documents, he shot a man named Billy Boyd twice in the head, IndyStar reports. Just hours later, Cruz allegedly shot and killed another man -- Jay Higginbotham -- whom he happened to pass by in his car. 

Witnesses claim Higginbotham was walking down the street when Cruz pulled up to him looking to pick a fight, reports.  

"Why did ya'll pull up like that?" Higginbotham is alleged to have asked.  

According to witnesses, Cruz tried to fight Higginbotham, and when Higginbotham tried to run, Cruz pulled out a gun and shot him multiple times. He then searched the victim's pockets and used a racial slur before fleeing the scene.  

The following morning, Cruz's mother contacted him via text message to ask what he was doing, according to IndyStar. Cruz reportedly sent her a screenshot of a news article about the killings of Boyd and Higginbotham. 

"Delete those after u read it," Cruz wrote to his mother. 

"Do u know they can still pull up deleted history?" Cruz's mother responded.  

"Yep Ima get a new phone soon say mine was stolen," Cruz replied.  

On May 14, Cruz and another man, 18-year-old Steven Clark, allegedly robbed a man at gunpoint and pistol-whipped him before fleeing the scene together, the IndyStar reports. 

On the morning of May 15, police officers found Jose Ruiz shot to death in the driver's seat of his car.  There were no witnesses, but Cruz is suspected of the crime.  

Police eventually caught up with Cruz after a 15-year-old girl contacted them to tell them that Cruz had bragged to her about the murders and that he was "purging," in reference to the 2013 horror movie "The Purge." 

The movie depicts a 12-hour window when the U.S. government allows all crimes, including murder, to be committed without penalty.

The unidentified girl said Cruz attempted to show her a video of him gunning down Higginbotham, the IndyStar reports.

Cruz allegedly also sent text messages to another girl which read:  "I purge every night now.  Since I'm dieing someone else Has to.  Alot of people f-- dat."  

Police are trying to find out if Cruz is a member of the Bloods gang, as he can be seen in several photos on his Facebook page flashing gang signs. Other photos show Cruz pointing a black revolver directly at the camera and posing with piles of money.  

Cruz faces life in prison without parole if convicted. 

Sources: People via MSN, IndyStar, / Photo credit: Indianapolis Metropolitan Police via

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