21-Year-Old Eliezer De La Cruz Found Dead Behind The Wheel From Gunshots, Passenger From Bronx Suffers Leg Injury

YONKERS (CBSNewYork) — A Yonkers man is dead and another from the Bronx was injured in a violent crash on a Tennessee highway.

But Nashville police said it was no accident.

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It’s 900 miles from Yonkers to Nashville, a trip that ended Saturday with an SUV out of control, careening down a ramp and narrowly missing a car traveling on I-40 just outside of “Music City,” CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.

“By the grace of God, it was just short enough and the guys were going fast enough that he shot right over top of my car. If he was any bit slower, my car was any taller, I probably wouldn’t be here right now,” witness James Cross said.

A 21-year-old man from Yonkers was found dead behind the wheel of an SUV on a highway near Nashville, police said. (Photo: CBS2)

Metro Nashville police quickly determined this was no accident. The SUV driver, 21-year-old Eliezer De La Cruz of Yonkers, was dead behind the wheel from gunshots.

Police said his 21-year-old passenger, a man from the Bronx, injured his leg in the crash.

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Cops found “thousands” of dollars in the SUV. They believe prior to this crash two other vehicles chased De La Cruz, while at least one gunman blasted his rental vehicle.

“Just kind of a crazy scenario coming off of a gun battle and driving on to the highway,” Cross said.

A home on Chase Avenue was De La Cruz’s last known Yonkers address. Nashville police said he traveled to their city on Thursday from New York. Law enforcement sources told CBS2’s Aiello that De La Cruz had a minor record in New York, including a criminal mischief charge in Yonkers. Nothing serious.

Metro Nashville police are working to piece together his final days, including the source of the money found in his vehicle, as they search for those who shot and killed him.

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Police have not released the name of the Bronx man, the passenger in the SUV, who is hospitalized with a leg injury.