Seventeen-year-old Francisco Rodriguez was shot and killed Wednesday in Winnetka, Calif., less than an hour after his team earned a shutout tie against West Valley League rivals Taft.
According to the L.A. Daily News, police said Rodriguez, who played goalie for the El Camino Real High Conquistadores, was shot multiple times by an unknown suspect who was waiting in a car when he arrived home from the match. He was rushed to Northridge Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Initial reports cited a possible female suspect who fled the scene in a green SUV, but L.A. officials later rescinded that report and have yet to identify Rodriguez’s shooter. The motive in the shooting is also unknown, according officer Karen Rayner.
El Camino Real’s coach David Hussey was joined by nearly 60 current and former players, as well as several coaches and friends, at Northridge Hospital where they were told Rodriquez had died.
“I had just walked into the house when I got a call from one of my players asking me if I had heard (about Francisco). I tried to call his house and no one answered,” Hussey said. “It’s going to be really tough (today) because some of the kids are taking it really hard.
“It’s a real empty feeling right now. It’s like a bottomless pit. I can’t really feel anything,” Hussey said. “What is making it even tougher was the time we spent together in Hawaii (during a December tournament). It was just the kids and a few coaches and we really bonded together.”
Rodriguez had four saves in a scoreless tie with Taft. It was the team’s eighth shutout in 17 games this season.
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