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Man arrested after deadly stabbing over a $30 hat in New York, police say

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Apr. 23 2021, Updated 7:52 p.m. ET

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An argument over a stolen hat led to a deadly stabbing of a clothing store owner in Westchester County, New York, police say. 

But, less than 24 hours later, officers say they gave the suspected killer a new accessory  — a pair of handcuffs.

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Ruben Martinez, 47, was allegedly killed by someone who came into his store and tried to steal a $30 hat, ABC 7 NY reported.

The confrontation began inside Premier Fashion, Martinez’s store. He and his son had opened the location only a month prior, according to the report.

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In a video of the incident, the suspect casually walks out of the store while putting on a hat. He then doubles back towards Martinez. At one point, you can see an object being swung, according to ABC 7 NY.

Martinez was stabbed twice, and later pronounced dead at the hospital, according to the report.

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"The owner of the store was running up to the young guy with a stick and the young guy came at him, stabbing him, and then he ran off," witness Elizabeth Pina told ABC 7 NY.


"He was all dressed up in a black sweatsuit and he had a hoodie on. It was hard to tell the face," witness Alex Ramirez said to ABC 7 NY.

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Ruben’s son, Chris, did not want to speak about the killing, and employees were visibly upset over the incident, according to reporters at the scene. 

Martinez leaves behind a wife and four sons, who say they will keep running his store.

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"He was defending his store. That was his reaction, 'I'm defending my own.' It's sad the way it happened, but it happened," Pina told ABC 7 NY.

Within 24 hours of the stabbing, police arrested Tyrese L. Shubrick, 21, in the village of Elmsford Wednesday morning. He was placed into custody without incident. Shubrick was charged with manslaughter. 


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