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Suspected Serial Killer Busted in Houston

Jose Gilberto Rodriguez suspected in 3 murders, other crimes
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2018 4:48 PM CDT
This undated photo provided by the Harris County Sheriff's Office in Houston shows Jose Gilberto Rodriguez.   (Harris County Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Newser) – Houston police believe they nabbed a suspected serial killer with the Tuesday morning arrest of Jose Gilberto Rodriguez. A deadly crime spree began in the area on July 9 with a home invasion and robbery followed by the murder of a 62-year-old woman whose car was stolen. On Saturday, a 28-year-old employee of a mattress store was shot dead in the store's back office. In two separate shootings Monday, a 22-year-old bus driver was left in critical condition and a 57-year-old man was killed in another mattress store. Rodriguez, 46, is suspected in all of the crimes. He was arrested after someone spotted a suspicious vehicle in the Cypress area Tuesday morning and alerted authorities, who captured him after a 14-minute chase. He was found in a car stolen from one of the victims, and a pistol was found in the car, the Houston Chronicle reports.

Rodriguez has a violent history dating back to at least 1989, with felony convictions for crimes including attempted sex assault, burglary, and auto theft. He was paroled in September 2017 and deemed a high-risk sex offender. Days before the police announced the manhunt for Rodriguez Monday, he allegedly cut off his ankle monitor. "We are very relieved this morning," Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez told reporters. "We're very relieved, again, very thankful, to the citizens of Harris County for calling in, being diligent and reporting this to us so that we could take action." Authorities, who believe Rodriguez was on the hunt for his next victim when he was caught, have not offered details on the evidence allegedly linking him to the crimes. They believe the victims were chosen randomly, ABC News reports. He's been hit with two capital murder charges and a third is expected. (Read more serial killer stories.)

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