Rigoberto Rodriguez-Macedo, 29, was arrested in California on Wednesday, two days after he is accused of fatally shooting a 43-year-old landscaper he believed owed him money.
A 29-year-old Carnation man made it to within 200 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border before he was arrested Wednesday morning in connection with the fatal shooting of a landscaper over money the suspect believed he was owed, according to King County prosecutors.
Rigoberto Rodriguez-Macedo, who was charged Wednesday with second-degree murder and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, was arrested at a bus terminal in Huntington Park, Calif., according to charging papers. He was booked into the Los Angeles County Jail, said King County Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott.
He is accused of fatally shooting 43-year-old Christopher Rea in the garage attached to Rea’s house, in the 26000 block of Southeast Black Nugget Road northeast of Issaquah, according to the charges. Business and property records show Rea was the owner of King Landscaping, which was run from the 5-acre property.
The shooting happened around 1:30 a.m. on Monday. The King County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Rea died from a gunshot wound to the torso.
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“In the present case, the defendant appears to have shot the victim for no other reason than a belief that the victim owed him wages,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor John Castleton wrote in charging papers. “After the shooting, the defendant attempted to discard the murder weapon and then fled the state in an effort to avoid apprehension.”
Rodriguez apparently told a friend of his plan to flee to Mexico, Castleton wrote, asking that bail be set at $2 million. Sheriff’s detectives are on their way to California to interview Rodriguez, he wrote in charging papers.
According to the charges:
Rodriguez and his girlfriend were visiting Rodriguez’s brother, who lives in an apartment above Rea’s garage. Rodriguez was angry because he believed Rea owed him money for work he’d done for Rea’s landscaping business. He grabbed a .22-caliber rifle from the apartment and walked downstairs, the charges say.
The brother heard a gunshot and ran downstairs to find Rodriguez holding the rifle and Rea face down on the garage floor, say the charges. Rodriguez and his girlfriend left and the brother called 911.
Rodriguez apparently threw the rifle out of his pickup and went to another brother’s house in Issaquah, while his girlfriend drove his truck back to Carnation, say the charges. The other brother later told detectives Rodriguez had told him “something bad happened and he needed a ride out of town,” and the brother drove him to a town in Oregon, according to the charges.
On Tuesday, Rodriguez called a friend and told him “he had just purchased a new cell phone and was leaving everything behind and going to Mexico,” the charges say.
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