Bond Set at $1 Million for Suspect in Bridgeport Store Owner Murder

As Jose Salgado was laid to rest on Thursday, one of the men accused of killing him during a robbery in a Bridgeport grocery store on Saturday appeared in court for an arraignment.

Leighton Vanderberg, 22, of New Haven, was arrested on Wednesday and charged with felony murder. On Thursday, he stood in a Bridgeport court next to his attorney, where bond was set at $1 million and the case was continued until next month.

Outside the courthouse, his family said he is an innocent man.

“It’s allegedly!," said a woman who identified herself as Vanderberg's sister, but did not want to provide her name. "Allegedly it’s not factual! Therefore it’s a theory. Ya’ll all went to school, ya’ll all know what it means. It’s a theory!”

Salgado, was killed on Saturday night while working at the store he owns with his wife, Sapiao's Grocery at 351 Lexington Avenue in Bridgeport.

Police said he had handed over the cash, but was shot anyway and they identified Vanderberg and Treizy Lopez, 18, of New Haven, as suspects in the murder.

While leaving the courthouse, Vanderberg's wife, Jyne Vanderberg, said the allegations against Vanderberg are untrue.

“My husband, Leighton Vanderberg, is completely innocent! And justice will show that!,” she said.

Police are continuing the search for Lopez, who remains at large and is believed to be in the New Haven area.

New Haven police arrested Lopez on separate charges last Thursday when an officer saw him riding a scooter without face or eye protection.

That scooter was stolen, according to police, and Lopez was charged with third-degree larceny and driving a motorcycle with no face protection.

Bridgeport Asst. Chief James Nardozzi put out a plea on Wednesday, asking Lopez to surrender.

"Do yourself a favor, if you are watching this, and turn yourself in to police. We're going to find you. We're not going to give up," he said. "We're going to find where yo uare and you're going to be brought to justice."

Salgado's family and friends spent the day paying final respects and said what happened is just not fair.

“I mean take the money, don’t shoot the guy. You know what I mean? I mean, everybody is hurt," Heacio Antunes, a family friend, said.

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