Friends say Blue Springs victim died protecting teenagers from home invaders

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. -- Blue Springs police say they have three people in custody in connection with their first homicide in nearly two years.

Wednesday evening, police were still asking people in the neighborhood questions to find out all they can about the death of 47-year-old Luis Cedres.

Friends told FOX 4 that Cedres was found in a pool of his own blood after being shot around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday at an apartment complex.

Sara Maloney, a friend, said intruders invaded his home late in the night. She said he died protecting two teenagers who were at his house.

"He saved two children's lives last night. In my eyes, he's a hero," Maloney said.

The teens locked themselves in a closet while Cedres tried to fight the intruders off. Maloney said he was shot six times.

"He was murdered. Cold-blood murdered by some punk kids," Maloney said.

"I just hope, you know, that they catch the people that did this, and it was a sad situation to happen, but he's a hero to all my kids," said a neighbor.

His friends and family are holding a vigil Wednesday at 7 p.m. His family is flying in from Puerto Rico to say their final goodbyes.