Man shot to death while doing a good deed in Kensington

KENSINGTON (WPVI) -- A young man stays behind at the end of his work day to help an older gentleman close his shop, but that ultimately costs him his life.

Roxanna Picuri is honest about her son, Elliott Cortez.

She describes him as a challenge with a floral flair.

"Elliott was a handful from the time he was born to the end, very energetic, loved flowers, he worked at Stein since he was 15 so he's big into flowers, she said.

Cortez was closing up shop in the early morning hours on Saturday April 1 at a shop at 2nd and Westmoreland streets in Philadelphia's Kensington section.

At 1:08 a.m., the 26-year-old had just finished helping a nearby store owner lower his gate when his mother says he was approached by two men.

They probably tried to start robbing him. The cops told me he was probably getting the best of one of them and the other one came and shot him in the back of the head," Picuri said.

Cortez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Picuri says it may have started as a robbery but the suspects didn't get anything.

"They got nothing because everything, his money, and his wallet, everything was still on him," she said.

The City of Philadelphia is offering up to $20,000 in reward money for the arrest and conviction of the person responsible.

All you have to do is call the Citizens Crime Commission at 215-546-TIPS.

All calls will remain anonymous.

For Cortez's mother, she says the neighborhood where her son's murder took place is a tight community.

"They know each other. Everybody knows everything, so somebody knows something and they are just not talking.

I need closure on this," she added.
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