Arrest made in Toys R Us murder

Oct 17, 2013

This surveillance camera image was released to the public following the murder.
Credit Hamburg Police

An arrest has been made in the murder of Laurence Wells II, a Hamburg Toys R Us manager who was stabbed to death in June.

Bernard Grucza, 38, of Elma was arrested Wednesday morning in the Town of Allegany and charged with second-degree murder. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment Wednesday afternoon. Gruzca was regional loss prevention officer at the store.

Town of Hamburg Police said Wednesday afternoon they had a suspect in custody, but said the investigation was evolving because it involved multiple searches at different locations. Those ended up including Grucza's residence in Allegany and his home on Kettle Run Road in Elma.

Wells, who was 35 years old, was stabbed in the shoulder and abdomen in his office in the early morning of June 29. He died at Mercy Hospital.

Hamburg Police said Wednesday they believe Grucza went to the store with the intention of killing Wells.  At one point, the surveillance camera system was shut off by the intruder.

Police, asking for the public's help in identifying the killer, released grainy surveillance camera footage following the murder. The images did not clearly show the man's face. A Florida Gators baseball hat was left at the scene. Media outlets are reporting DNA evidence was used to tie Grucza to the murder.

The Hamburg Toys R Us store where Larry Wells was murdered last June.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO News

The Buffalo News and local television stations have a photo and video footage of Grucza who actually appeared at the crime scene the morning the body was discovered inside the Hamburg store.