HOUSTON - In Raul Rodriguez s old community in Huffman, neighbors said they remember him for one thing: conflict.
On Oak Knoll, neighbors said it is hard to forget Rodriguez.
He was a nuisance that thought he pretty much ran the street in a way, said Jamie Johnson, one of Rodriguez s former neighbors. He had us paranoid because he was paranoid. We didn t know when he was going to go off.
Rodriguez, who is facing murder charges in the shooting death of his neighbor, New Caney ISD teacher Kelly Danaher, is a retired Baytown firefighter. He quit about a year after Nito Guarjardo, 24, died fighting a fire in December 2004. According to colleagues, Guarjardo was one of Rodriguez s few friends on the force.
The president of the Baytown Firefighters Union, who was asked not to go on camera by Harris County prosecutors because of the trial, told KHOU 11 News that Rodriguez was the first and only firefighter voted out of their union. The union felt he was divisive, prejudiced and always felt people were out to get him.
He was paranoid to the point he thought somebody was going to do something to him, Johnson said.
Johnson said Rodriguez often showed off his gun, argued with adults and children and had confrontations in his old neighborhood similar to what was caught on tape and showed in court Wednesday.
The video, filmed by Rodriguez himself, shows the confrontation with Danaher and his friends that led to the fatal shooting. While Danaher was throwing a party for his wife, Rodriguez came over with his video camera, flashlight and gun, complaining that it was too loud. Eventually, the partygoers and Rodriguez got into an argument, and at some point, Rodriguez opened fire. Three people were shot, but Danaher did not survive his injuries.
He did that to my ex-husband, Johnson said. He didn t do that to us out here in the road, but police when they came to my house said he really knows his handbook real well because he used the right words. He said that my ex-husband was coming at him in an aggressive way on his property.
Much like members of the firefighters union, Johnson said prosecutors subpoenaed her to testify in court. However, she was not sure if that would happen.