UPDATE: Worcester State University Fatal Shooting Suspect Arrested
A 19-year-old man was killed and a 21-year-old man was injured. Neither the victims nor the 18-year-old suspect are Worcester State students.
ARTICLE UPDATE – 11/2/2023:
An 18-year-old Massachusetts man wanted in connection with a double shooting at Worcester State University on Saturday was arrested Thursday morning in New York City, CBS News reports. The Worcester County District Attorney’s Office has not yet released details of the arrest.
Kevin Rodriguez, who authorities described as armed and dangerous, was wanted on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and armed assault with intent to murder in the death of 19-year-old Randy Armando Melendez Jr. A 21-year-old man was also injured but underwent surgery and is expected to survive his injuries.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE – 10/30/23:
WORCESTER, Mass. — An 18-year-old suspect is still at large following a fatal shooting at Worcester State University early Saturday morning.
Kevin Rodriguez, who Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said is considered armed and dangerous, is wanted on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and armed assault with intent to murder, Mass Live reports.
Investigators said the shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. following an altercation in a campus parking lot near Wasylean Hall and Sheehan Hall. Randy Armando Melendez Jr., 19, was killed in the shooting and a 21-year-old man was injured by gunfire but is expected to survive.
Early said neither the victims nor the suspect are Worcester State students and that it is believed the involved parties knew each other. Interim Worcester Police Chief Paul Saucier said another person was arrested near the scene and a firearm was recovered. That person has been charged with trespassing and possession of a firearm.
The university issued a shelter-in-place order, telling the campus community to stay indoors and away from windows or openings. Some students who live in Wasylean Hall and Sheehan Hall witnessed the brawl and subsequent shooting.
“They were just in the middle of the parking lot and then a whole fight broke out, and then we saw another car pull up,” Isaac Tyson told NBC Boston. “Some guys came out of the car with some guns, a few gunshots happened, and then we saw some kids just drop and then everybody just evacuated the scene.”
“You could tell someone got hit three times. He tried to run away, fell down on the ground, and there were ambulances everywhere, people screaming,” added Marcus Oliver. “It was horrifying, honestly.”
Worcester State canceled classes Monday as authorities continue to search for the suspect. Early said
The shooting also led to the cancellation of remaining homecoming weekend events. Several other campuses have canceled homecoming events this year following gun violence, including Bowie State University and Morgan State University. None of the assailants in those incidents were students at the universities.
Anyone who sees Rodriguez is asked to call 911 and anyone who might know something about his location should call Massachusetts State Police at 508-453-7589 or the Massachusetts State Police Fugitive Apprehension Section at 1-800-527-8873. Early specifically asked for information, photos, or videos from anyone who was near Wasylean Hall or Sheehan Hall at the time of the shooting. The university’s police department can be reached at 508-929-8911.
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