Teen arrested in connection to January shooting, allegedly attempted to rob drug dealer

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AUSTIN (KXAN) — A teenager arrested Tuesday was charged with deadly conduct and tampering with evidence after his alleged involvement in a January shooting in southeast Austin, according to Austin police.

On January 26, officers were dispatched to calls of an active shooter at the 6700 block of Felix Avenue in southeast Austin. Witnesses told officers that one person was shot and a second suspect was seen running from the scene.

When officers arrived at the scene they found one victim with a gunshot wound on his neck and a .45 caliber pistol found next to him. After a search, officers located a second gunshot victim, identified as 17-year-old Christopher Rodriguez, on the front porch of a Villita Avenida residence. Rodriguez has sustained a gunshot wound to his thigh. 

Officers conducted a search of a nearby park area and found a 9mm pistol in a patch of thick shrubs. The gun had no live rounds in it and the serial number had been destroyed.

Witnesses told police they witnessed Rodriguez and the other gunshot victim approach a grey SUV at Vargas Road and Felix Avenue. The witness said the driver of the SUV pushed Rodriguez away as they drove off and Rodriguez was shooting at the vehicle as he fled the scene. 

Rodriguez admitted to police that he and the other suspect were intending to set up a transaction for marijuana and rob the dealer. He said when they approached the SUV the dealer was driving, a passenger in the back left began shooting at them. He also admitted to shooting back, running away and ditching his weapon in a nearby park.

The other gunshot victim who was with Rodriguez confirmed the story. He told officers that when they approached the SUV he pulled out his weapon and told the dealer to “give me your shit.” he said that is when he was shot by a passenger in the vehicle.

On April 8, officers responded to a call of a runaway juvenile. In the process of investigating this case, officers found text messages between Rodriguez and the runaway girl. According to police, in these messages, Rodriguez told the girl to “tell her homeboy,” and to delete Instagram messages. Rodriguez asked the girl what kind of car the drug dealer was driving and told her, “Wym why I’m tell him pull up as soon as I see his car I’m jus start dumpin.” 

Police believe these messages show that Rodriguez was planning retaliation against the drug dealer. He was asking about the dealer’s car and location. The officer also recognized the slang term “dumpin” to mean shooting. 

Rodriguez was arrested and charged with deadly conduct as well as tampering with evidence when he hid his weapon in a park. His bond is currently set at $25,000. 

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