Polk County Sheriff’s Office investigating murder in unincorporated Bartow; suspect arrested
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a homicide investigation in the area of Transport Road and Spruce Road in unincorporated Bartow. Deputies responded to that area Friday morning, June 11, 2021, at around 5:49 AM, in reference to a man being shot.
The victim, a white adult male whose name is not being released due to Marsy’s Law, was found deceased inside of a residence.
Deputies made contact with two witnesses at the residence and gathered suspect information. They were able to quickly locate the suspect in a car that was leaving the area, and the vehicle was stopped.
The suspect has been identified as 31-year-old Raul De Alejandro Rodriguez, Jr. who resides at 5316 Kirk Road, Bartow.
Based on evidence and witness statements at this early point in the investigation, De Alejandro Rodriguez was involved in an argument with the victim about the suspect dating the victim’s daughter. De Alejandro Rodriguez then shot the victim with a shotgun and fled the area with the weapon.
When deputies detained De Alejandro Rodriguez, he was in possession of a single shotgun shell in his pocket and another in a bag.
“The responding deputies arrived so quickly that they were able to set-up a tight perimeter and the Aviation Unit easily spotted the suspect trying to get away; he was detained very quickly. The investigation is ongoing, and Homicide Detectives and Crime Scene Investigators are working hard to gather evidence and statements.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff
Raul De Alejandro Rodriguez, Jr’s prior criminal history consists of six felony and eight misdemeanor arrests. His charges includes: Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon, Drug Possessions, Hit and Run, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, Disorderly Conduct, DUI, DWLSR, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Failure to Appear.
Raul De Alejandro Rodriguez, Jr, has been charged with the following:
* First Degree Murder
* Aggravated Assault with a Deadly Weapon
* Armed Burglary with a Firearm
* Tampering with a Witness
* Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
* Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon
The victim’s daughter, who De Alejandro Rodriguez was reportedly dating and having a sexual relationship with, is 17-years-old. The PCSO had been trying to investigate that relationship since January of this year, but the victim and her mother have been uncooperative in that investigation.
The investigation is ongoing and additional charges against De Alejandro Rodriguez are possible.