Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Ohio: Grocer killed with own gun

Lorain, Ohio

From the The Morning Journal of January 31, 2008
Grocer killed with own gun

Lorain grocer Jose Gonzalez was fatally shot with his own gun during a struggle with the suspect in a ''botched robbery'' at Gonzalez's store last Friday, police said.

Gonzales had bought the gun to protect himself and his store following a previous holdup, according to neighbors.

Police said a man armed with a weapon that was not a gun walked into the Gonzalez Grocery at 2522 Lexington Ave. at about 10 a.m. on Jan. 25. A fight ensued between the man and Gonzalez, and Gonzalez's gun somehow got into the hands of the intruder, according to police.

Lorain police Chief Cel Rivera would not specify what weapon police believe suspect Decio Rodrigues, 24, of Lorain, brought to the store, but said it was not a gun. The chief said he does not believe Rodrigues entered the store with the intent to kill Gonzalez.

As the suspect ran from the store with cash in his hand, he was spotted by an Allied Waste worker.

Police released a composite sketch of the suspect shortly after the killing and tips started rolling in.

Lorain detectives worked around the clock with the U.S. Marshal's Violent Fugitive Task Force to capture Rodrigues. He was taken into custody Saturday night and was charged with aggravated murder.

At an arraignment Monday morning, Rodrigues appeared on live video from the Lorain County Jail. Rodrigues kept his head down for most of the proceeding, but when he did look into the camera, he had a black eye and scratches on his face.

Rivera said the injuries were from the struggle that had taken place at the grocery store when Gonzalez was fighting for his life.

Tuesday night, the community gathered with Gonzalez's family to honor his legacy and to protest violence. His son vowed to reopen the store.

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