‘I want to die': Father testifies in court of events after son shot teenage girl

Father says son claimed 14-year-old girl's fatal shooting was an accident

SAN ANTONIO – The father of a teen accused of killing a girl with a handgun he thought was unloaded testified in court Friday, telling the jury that his son dashed home from a party, sobbing, and told him that he had accidentally shot a teenage girl to death.

John Rodriguez, father of Ryan Rodriguez, 20, said that his son was crying uncontrollably and said, “I want to die. I want to kill myself.” He said that his son, 19 years old at the time, told him that he was handling a pistol that another teen was showing him.

“Ryan, inexperienced on how to handle a weapon, grabbed the gun, and Ryan tried to pull the slide back on this pistol and the gun went off,” the elder Rodriguez testified.

Melody Cerros, 14, was struck with a single round in the back of her head and was killed.

Police say other teens at the party said Rodriguez – thinking the gun wasn’t loaded – pointed it at Cerros and pulled the trigger.

Closing arguments are set for Monday in Judge Lori Valenzuela’s 437th District Court. If he is convicted, Rodriguez is facing a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison.

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