The life of a popular high school soccer goalie was cut short on Wednesday night when he answered his door and was shot dead in suburban Los Angeles.
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC and a handful of other Southern California media sources, 17-year-old Winnetka (Calif.) El Camino Real High soccer goalie Francisco Rodriguez Jr. was killed just hours after making four saves in his team's scoreless draw with Los Angeles (Calif.) Taft High.
While no motive has emerged for the killing, Francisco Rodriguez's sister, Jessica Rodriguez, provided a description of the girl who came to the door before he was shot, noting that she had red hair and appeared to be around the same age as Rodriguez. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Department has insisted that the shooting was certainly not a random act of violence.
"This was not a random shooting," LAPD Det. David Peteque told the Los Angeles media. "This was definitely targeted toward a specific individual."
A neighbor and longtime family friend of the Rodriguez clan was reportedly first on the scene after the goalie was shot, and provided chilling details about his final moments.
"I didn't move him. I was talking to him. He moved his eyes. I thought he heard me. I told him, 'Just hold on, they'll be here right now,'" Jesse Meza told KTLA. "He couldn't say nothing."
Hours later, scores of Rodriguez's classmates at El Camino Real collectively mourned the loss of a widely beloved member of the school's broader community who was known simply as "Poncho."
"I really looked up to him," 16-year-old El Camino Real student Spencer Smith told the Times. "He was a mentor to me. This is so sad."
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