EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

April 20, 2010

Neighbors accused of murder

Police charge two Haverhill men in shooting death of 21-year-old over the weekend

By Brian Messenger

HAVERHILL — Two city men have been arrested and charged with murdering Luis Rodriguez, 21, who was fatally shot over the weekend on Washington Street.

Everett Leonard, 24, of 48 Ayer St., was arrested without incident outside his home at 10:38 p.m., according to Steve O'Connell, spokesman for District Attorney Jonathan Blodgett.

Yesterday, police arrested another man, Jason Ortiz, of 454 Washington St. at 7:40 p.m. and charged him with murder.

O'Connell said both men will be arraigned today in Haverhill District Court.

Police believe Rodriguez, 21, of 7 Baldwin St., was shot a short distance from his home early Saturday morning, outside a house party at Sweet Sammy's Rental Apartments, 346-348 Washington St.

Rodriguez's apartment is directly behind the two-level apartment house.

Neighbors said Rodriguez had just moved into the ground-floor apartment at 7 Baldwin St.

O'Connell said Rodriguez's murder remains under investigation. No new details were released yesterday. Investigators have yet to comment on a possible motive for the shooting.

At 4:45 a.m. Saturday, Haverhill police received a call from Lawrence police reporting that Rodriguez had been brought into Lawrence General Hospital with a gunshot wound.

Rodriguez had surgery at the hospital and was then transferred to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he underwent additional surgery before being pronounced dead Saturday afternoon.

Police said Rodriguez's body was taken to the Medical Examiner's Office in Boston for an autopsy.

The shooting is Haverhill's second homicide this year.

On Feb. 9, Christina Mulgrave was stabbed multiple times inside her 107 Chestnut St. home and later died at Merrimack Valley Hospital in Haverhill.

Police have charged Craig Mulgrave, 33, Christina's husband, with her murder.