HOUSTON – Police on Friday released surveillance video of a person of interest in the fatal shooting of a mother in northwest Houston.
Vanessa Rodriguez, 23, was shot multiple times in her apartment in the 8500 block of Pitner in the Spring Branch area. The gunman took her cell phone and left.
Police said Rodriguez called 911 after she was shot, but she later died at the hospital.
The woman’s baby daughter was found unharmed, still sitting in her high chair inside the apartment.
"Yesterday, he did this to my wife. Tomorrow, he could kill someone else’s loved one," said Josefino Ortego. "We need to get this person off the streets. He shot a person in front of her daughter. It’s real cold."
Ortego told investigators he was at work when the shooting occurred, police said. He was able to use a tracker on her stolen cell phone, which police found in a nearby field.
During the investigation, two maintenance men told police they spotted a suspicious man lurking around the victim’s apartment.
Surveillance cameras were rolling when the man left the complex around the time of the shooting. Police described him as a Hispanic male who was about 5 feet 7 inches tall. He was wearing a light gray hoodie.
Police have few leads, no motive and no suspects in the case.
"I don't know why anyone would want to kill her," said HPD Sgt. W.L. Meeler.
Detectives are hoping someone will come forward with information leading to the killer.
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS. All tips will remain anonymous and tipsters could receive a $5,000 reward.
Footnote: Unfortunately, Ortego and his brother were mistakenly arrested Friday when an officer saw their license plate number on the crime report. When HPD realized it was a mistake, they were quickly released.
HPD uploaded the security video of the suspicious person to YouTube: www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJ2TY1L4QhI