U.S. police capture 'suspected serial killer' after string of murders

Clay Curtis
July 18, 2018

The man suspected in three fatal shootings is in custody in Houston. Pamela Johnson was found dead in her home on July 13. Her vehicle, a 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser, was stolen from her home and found abandoned the next day at nearby Willowbrook Mall.

"Since the first murder with Mrs. Johnson, they've been working around the clock trying to connect all the different pieces", said Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.

Edward Magana was found dead Monday in a nearby Mattress One store, where the 57-year-old father of four from El Salvador worked, KPRC-TV reported.

He is a registered sex offender out on parole after spending 28 years in prison and was believed to be armed and risky. During a press conference following Rodriguez's arrest, Gonzalez said police believe he had been cruising the area looking for his next victim.

"This individual is a person of interest in a minimum of three murders", Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters Monday night.

Police say Rodriguez began his crime spree on 9 July when he attacked someone during a home invasion and robbery.

Four days later, police received a call from Pamela Johnson's anxious family.

Rodriguez led police on a brief chase Tuesday morning in northwest Harris County, KHOU reported, before surrendering in a gray sedan.

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Two of the suspects were killed at Houston-area mattress stores.

During a news conference Tuesday, Sheriff's Sgt. David Crane announced that there was enough evidence to charge Rodriguez with two counts of capital murder.

Barrow was shot to death inside a Mattress Firm store near the mall.

So far, police have declined to reveal a motive or whether the victims were randomly targeted.

"We can't release all the details but all these cases we feel have some linkage to each other and so we're going to continue to tighten those", Gonzalez said. Williams said Rodriguez got along with the other tenants and would often help out around the complex, mowing the lawn, painting the house and fixing phones.

When Deputy Reyes tried to stop him, Rodriguez took off.

Monday, the crime spree continued when a Houston Metro driver was robbed and shot on the Eastex Freeway. Deputies reportedly found a gun inside the Nissan. In the midst of the investigation, Mattress One released a statement, expressing sympathy for the victim's friends and family: Mattress1One is deeply saddened and would like to offer its deepest condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of its deceased associate. A clerk heard the shots, then ran outside and found the injured bus driver, who was rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

Gonzalez has said there were "strong indications in each crime" that Rodriguez was involved but declined to elaborate.

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