Suspected Gunman Identified In Market Owner Murder
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Metro police have identified the suspected gunman involved in a South Nashville market owner's fatally shooting.
Police said the shooter was 19-year-old Edgar Rodriguez, an illegal immigrant who police believe returned to Mexico.
Rodriguez is accused of killing Vinod Shah inside the Discount Beer Market last Friday.
Police got the break in the case when they lifted a fingerprint inside the market.
A week ago, Shah was shot and killed by two robbers.
On Thursday, police said they still needed help locating the killers.
"We know someone saw this so, we're just pleading to the community for help," Metro homicide detective Derry Baltimore.
Surveillance photos captured the murder. One suspect is seen standing on the counter with a gun just seconds before he killed Shah. Police said that suspect was Rodriguez.
"The frustrating part of this for all of us is that the accused killer should not have been in the U-S to begin with," said Metro police spokesman Don Aaron.
When Rodriguez was arrested last year in Nashville for driving without a drivers license police discovered his was an illegal immigrant. He was deported in October, but obviously came back.
His fingerprint led investigators to his family in Nashville. Police showed them the surveillance photos.
"They admitted that yes, the gunman was Edgar Rodriguez," Aaron said.
Relatives told police they had no idea Rodriguez was in trouble when he abruptly left Nashville Friday night and headed back to Mexico.
"He actually asked his family for some money for transportation from Nashville to Mexico," Aaron said.
Police are still looking for the other robber. They have not identified him. He wore a long sleeve shirt, which could help police identify him.
"We believe the suspect in the white is going to have tattoos all over his body because he was wearing a long sleeve shirt," Baltimore said.
The whereabouts of the other person involved in the crime are unknown.
The next step in the case against Rodriguez is a federal warrant. That probably won't be issued until next week.
When that happens, Federal Bureau of Investigation agents stationed in Mexico will work with Mexican authorities to try and find him.
Metro Police Chief Ronal Serpas issued a statement about the case late Friday.
"Despite the sheriff's 287(g) work in this case, the federal government still can't secure our nation's borders," Serpas said. "Unfortunately, the cold-blooded murder of a Nashville market owner is intertwined with the federal government's inability to deal with a broken immigration system and border security."