Cesar Rodriguez, Teen on His Way to Becoming Sheriff's Deputy, Murdered in Whittier: Investigators Want to Find Drive-by Shooters

Sheriff's investigators really want to find the guys who were part of a drive-by shooting over the weekend. That's because they took part in the murder of a four-year sheriff's Explorer who had just applied to become a full-fledged deputy.

The attack that took the life of 19-year-old Cesar Rodriguez happened in the 11800 block of Painter Avenue in unincorporated Whittier, according to a sheriff's statement. The teen was leaving a house party when he was gunned down by someone inside a gray Scion that had three or four other men inside.

Rodriguez wasn't the only victim:

Larry Villegas, 24, was also killed. Both were pronounced dead at the scene, deputies said. It happened about 3:10 a.m. Saturday.


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Norwalk Sheriff's Station Capt. Patrick Maxwell:

It was Cesar's lifelong dream to become a deputy sheriff. He was preparing himself to do that and was making the right choices in life.

The Explorer program trains young people aged 15-21 to become deputies. Rodriguez was based out of the Norwalk station. Sheriff's officials say he became the leader of his local post's Honor Guard and had just submitted an application to become a deputy about one week ago.

Maxwell:

It's ironic. He wants to join the Sheriff's Department to fight crime and he dies a victim of crime.

Checks to help Rodriguez's family pay for his funeral can be written to "Norwalk Sheriff's Station Explorer Post #1085," and sent to 12335 Civic Center Drive, Norwalk, CA 60650.

If you have info about the shooter or his passengers, call the Norwalk station: 562-863-8711.

[@dennisjromero/djromero@laweekly.com]


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