BELLE GLADE, Fla. — An 86-year-old sugar mill worker wanted one more year on the job, but when his boss denied him, the employee shot and killed him, police say.
Felix Cabrera had worked for the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative for 31 years when he learned he would be fired, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said Saturday in a statement.
Standing near the entrance to the mill at 1500 George Wedgworth Way, Cabrera’s boss told him Friday before 11 a.m. to clock out and not return to work. When Cabrera asked his 67-year-old boss if he could work one more year “for financial reasons,” police said, the manager replied, “No.”
That’s when Cabrera pulled a handgun out of his pocket and shot his boss several times, killing him, deputies said.
Deputies say they arrived at the mill within minutes of the shooting, where they found the manager dead, then quickly located and arrested Cabrera without struggle.
Police charged Cabrera with first-degree murder, saying the shooting appeared to be planned. Deputies booked the Belle Glade resident Friday evening into the Palm Beach County Jail in suburban West Palm Beach.
The sheriff’s office has not released the name of the victim, a Martin County man, because his family invoked Marsy’s Law, passed by voters in 2018, which allows police to withhold victims’ identities at their families’ requests.
The co-op said Friday in a statement it was “horrified and deeply saddened by the senseless violence.”
“The victim was part of the Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative family, and we are praying for the victim’s loved ones, as well as all our team members and growers,” the co-op said.
The fatal shooting is the 31st confirmed homicide in Palm Beach County this year, according to a Palm Beach Post database. The fatal shooting is also the third reported homicide in Belle Glade during 2021.
Two unidentified men were killed May 16 in the 300 block of Southwest Sixth Street, just west of Main Street and north of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard West.