Charges filed in Jesus Reyes homicide

By Catalina Melgoza
Editorial Assistant
Northeast News

 

Six charges, including Murder in the 2nd Degree, were filed in the Circuit Court of Jackson County on July 31 against 17-year-old Andrew Rodriquez, who stands accused of killing 15-year-old Jesus Reyes.

On April 16th, 2018 at 10 p.m., KCPD officers were called to the corner of Truman and Hardesty, where they found Reyes in a vehicle alongside another juvenile who had sustained life-sustaining injuries. Reyes was pronounced dead at the scene, and the second victim was rushed to the hospital. In addition to Murder in the 2nd Degree, Rodriquez faces three counts of Armed Criminal Action, one count of robbery in the 1st Degree, and one count of Assault in the 1st Degree.

According to charging documents released on July 31, the victims had known Rodriquez from school. The second victim, who ultimately survived the shooting and served as a witness in the investigation, had been in contact with Rodriquez via Facebook messenger and had arranged to buy a gun from him. Reyes and victim #2 had met Rodriquez and his cousin the night of April 16th to do the exchange near the intersection of 16th Terrace and Bennington.

The exchange occurred while Victim #2 was sitting in the driver’s seat of a 2019 Nissan Sentra; Reyes was sitting in the passenger seat. Rodriquez approached on the passenger side, and his cousin was on the driver’s side. According to Victim #2, he reached over to give the money to Rodriquez’s cousin, after which the cousin handed Rodriquez a Glock 27 with an extended magazine across the hood of the car, in order to give to Reyes. Instead of handing the gun to Reyes, however, Rodriguez shot both victims.

Victim #2 drove away from the scene and contacted police at Truman and Hardesty. When the police arrived, Reyes had been pronounced dead.

A department crime bulletin listed several addresses for Rodriquez and his cousin. One of them was 6625 E. 16th Terrace; the address where the two suspects were found in the basement and taken into custody. Police executed a search warrant for the home and recovered several guns, including a Glock 27 with an extended magazine. In addition, authorities recovered substances believed to be narcotics.

Rodriquez’s cousin denied being with him at the time of the murder, insisting he was with his sister at the time of the homicide. Rodriquez initially refused to speak with detectives. While in custody awaiting transport, however, Rodriquez and his cousin spoke to each other through the walls. In that conversation, Rodriquez admitted to shooting the victims and claimed they “upped” him – or raised a firearm at him – and that he had felt threatened before firing the fatal shots. Both suspects were eventually administered mouth swabs to test for DNA.

On Monday, July 30, Rodriquez was certified to stand trial as an adult. Prosecutors have requested a bond of $500,000 in the case.

The Northeast News published an initial report on the fatal shooting on April 20, 2018.

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