A 19-year-old Kenosha man was in custody Friday for a shooting that left a man dead Thursday afternoon.
Kenosha Police arrested the man hours after multiple gunshot blasts led Kenosha police to the intersection of 19th Avenue and 52nd Street, where a man died inside a grocery store after he had reportedly been shot elsewhere.
Kenosha Police identified the man who was killed as 30-year-old Hector Rodriguez-Rojas of Kenosha. According to earlier police radio reports, the victim had been shot in the chest. Lt. Patrick Patton of the Kenosha Police Department confirmed that police are investigating the shooting death as a homicide.
Police are recommending first-degree intentional homicide charges against the man, who was booked into Kenosha County Jail at 3:25 a.m. Friday. He had not been named by authorities as of Friday afternoon because he had not yet been charged.
“Police worked well into the morning and developed suspect information which led to the arrest of the suspected shooter. That person is in custody and appropriate charges are expected to be forwarded to the Kenosha District Attorney’s Office,” Kenosha Police Lt. Joe Nosalik said Friday.
Timeline of events
Officers were called at 4:56 p.m. Thursday to the San Luis Grocery Store, 1824 52nd St., where Rodriguez-Rojas, who had been riding a moped, left the vehicle and entered the store where he immediately collapsed, according to Patton.
Police were at the scene of a nearby standoff involving gunfire just minutes earlier in a neighborhood immediately to the south when officers heard the gunshots coming from the north; half of the squads on scene at the standoff were then dispatched to the grocery store, Patton said. Suspects had fled the area before police arrived.
“We know he wasn’t shot in the store,” Patton said.
Patton said police do not believe the shooting death was related to the standoff. He said the Medical Examiner’s Office was notified to respond to the grocery store shortly before 8 p.m. Thursday.
Multiple squad cars and layers of yellow police tape surrounded the scene at 19th Avenue in the neighborhoods immediately to the north and south of 52nd Street. Authorities also blocked off an area between 22nd and 18th avenues while they conducted their investigation, giving notification on social media for motorists to use alternate routes.
At the edge of 19th avenue, just west of the grocery store, Rodriguez-Rojas’ moped remained upright in the street. Detectives arrived in pairs entering the store while patrol officers secured the area.
“There were a lot of moving parts out there,” said Patton.
Family looking for answers
To the west of the grocery store, neighbors mingled in the parking lot behind Moe Moe’s Liquor & Supermarket. Rodriguez-Rojas’s family also huddled close together there waiting to hear details of what happened to him.
His sister, Sandra Rodriguez, said that before the incident her brother had been at their mother’s home and had just left. She said her brother rode his moped everywhere.
“He was always on his moped, especially, around (midtown Kenosha) when it’s nice,” she said.
She watched as police gathered evidence and continued to enter and exit the store, while she was anxiously awaiting word.
“They haven’t really told us anything,” she said. “They won’t say anything.”
Deneen Smith and Dan Truttschel of the Kenosha News contributed to this report.