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Man Fatally Shot After Defending Gay Friends From Homophobe Who Threatened To Kill Them 'Like Rats'

Filed under: Legal MattersR.I.P.Sad SadViolenceViral: NewsLGBT

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A Florida man was shot and killed early Sunday after defending his gay friends from a homicidal homophobe.

Juan Javier Cruz (above) was leaving a restaurant around 1 a.m. with some friends, some of whom are gay, when they were confronted by a man who began shouting about how he hated "gays" and wanted to kill them.

According to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, the group and other diners were threatened outside of Restaurante Y Pupuseria Las Flores by Nelson Hernandez Mena (above, insert).

The Honduras citizen allegedly shouted at them:

"I hate you damned gays. I'm going to kill you all here… If we were in my country, I'd kill all of you like rats."

When the 22-year-old Cruz defended his friends, Mena reportedly pulled out a handgun from his pants and fired several shots. Cruz was killed and another man was wounded in the ankle.

Related: Chelsea Handler Wants Laws Against People Who Think Racism Is Funny

Police told the Sun Sentinel that the 48-year-old faces charges of

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