34-year-old Luz Cuza was fatally shot in her New York home by suspect and boyfriend, Robert Rodriguez, 31, on September 17. Cuza had given birth to their son, Lucito LaKing, just four months ago.
As reported by New York Daily News, Cuza and Rodriguez had a history of altercations. Cuza’s brother, Ray Garcia said he heard a shot ring out from the next room when he was over visiting his sister. After he heard the shot, he raced into the next room to find that Cuza was on the floor with a gunshot wound to the head.
Garcia told Cuza that he would help her and went from house to house trying to get someone to call the police because he didn’t have his phone on him. By the time the authorities had arrived, Rodriguez had left the scene. “I didn’t think he was going to hurt her because she just gave birth to his son, like, two months ago,” Rodriguez said.
Police later caught up to him and he was charged with second degree murder, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal possession of a controlled substance and criminal possession of marijuana. Authorities reported that Rodriguez was still in possession of a .40 caliber firearm upon his arrest.
Patrick Frasier, a neighbor of the couple told DNAInfo that months before the shooting, Rodriguez had threatened Cuza’s life. “She ran out into the yard and he ran outside and said, ‘I’ll kill you, I’ll kill you,’” he said. He added that the couple had a history of violence.
Rodriguez has 16 prior arrests, some of which include the possession and illegal distribution of marijuana. He had also been charged with illegal possession of additional narcotics. New York Daily News reports that 12 of the 16 arrests are sealed.
It has been reported that Cuza’s son will now be in her mother’s custody.
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