‘They did what they had to’: Woman says officer-involved shooting of mother’s boyfriend was justified

Woman who lived with Richard Rodriguez said he pointed gun at her, then police

SAN ANTONIO – Richard Rodriguez has been identified as the man who police shot and killed in a West Side home early Saturday morning. The woman who witnessed the shooting from feet away is opening up about a difficult subject.

The woman didn’t want to be identified, but she said she felt it was important to share the full story.

She believes police were justified in shooting the man whom she cared for and with whom she lived.

Rodriguez went to elementary school with the woman’s mother. About a year ago, he and the woman’s mother reconnected, began dating, and he moved in with their family.

“He was a good person overall. He was good to my girls,” the woman said.

The woman and her mother both said Rodriguez was never abusive and was never on drugs around them. That’s why they were surprised by what detectives said after the shooting Saturday morning.

Suspect killed in officer-involved shooting identified by officials

“They told us it was meth, that he was on meth. He could have been paranoid,” the woman said.

The woman said that, on Saturday, her mother was at the hospital recovering from surgery. The woman was at their home in the 300 block of Concio Street with her boyfriend and three daughters, one of whom is an infant.

The woman said Rodriguez came into the house and caused a commotion around 4 a.m. Saturday. She said her boyfriend tried to help him, but it didn’t work.

“I grabbed my daughters, and I put them in my room. He saw me and pushed the door open and kept destroying my room. He went to my mom’s room, and that’s the only time we had to escape. He came out with a gun. He was waving it around. He kept pointing it at us, and then the police came,” the woman said. “They asked him three times — ‘Can you please put the gun down, sir?’ He refused to, and I guess after the third time, that’s when they shot him. My daughters were inside the house, and I just pushed them out.”

Days later, the woman and her girls sit in her childhood home, feet from where Rodriguez died.

“It’s hard. Every time I come in this house, I don’t feel right. It’s replaying flashbacks and everything. I hate being here, and it sucks. This is where I grew up,” the woman said.

They are working together as a family to overcome trauma and grief.

“This isn’t my mom’s or my fault. We just did what we had to do to protect my daughters. We did everything we could for Richard. We tried to stop him. We didn’t want any of this to happen,” the woman said.

There is a San Antonio Police Department partnership program that alerts school districts when students undergo trauma, so the girls’ elementary school was immediately notified, and the children are already getting counseling.

SAPD Chief William McManus said the two officers who fired shots at Rodriguez have approximately nine years of tenure with the department. Both are on leave pending the investigation.

About the Authors

Courtney Friedman anchors KSAT’s weekend evening shows and reports during the week. Her ongoing Loving in Fear series confronts Bexar County’s domestic violence epidemic. She joined KSAT in 2014 and is proud to call the SA and South Texas community home. She came to San Antonio from KYTX CBS 19 in Tyler, where she also anchored & reported.

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