Update: More dirt on Elizabeth Ibarra, who appears to have known both the victim and suspected gunman well.
The LAPD just announced the arrests of two suspects in the murder of El Camino Real High soccer star Francisco Rodriguez.
Calabasas resident Jason Schumann, 24, and San Fernando Valley resident Elizabeth Ibarra, 19, have been arrested for murder. [Note: “Schumann” was previously spelled “Schuman” in the headline and throughout the post, but LAPD media relations says the former is correct.]
Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas says the suspects had a “significant relationship” with Rodriguez…
… but that investigators are still unsure whether there was a romantic element to their motive, as many have speculated. The only thing detectives have made clear is that the killing was “personal,” not gang-related.
The arrests were largely based on an anonymus tip, so the LAPD is now asking that tipper, or anyone else who knows the suspects, to come forward with additional information that might help strengthen the charges against them.
Villegas called the January 11 shooting in Winnetka “truly a tragic situation… a senseless murder, one that shocked the consciousness of the family, and quite frankly the nation.”
Both Schumann and Ibarra have extensive criminal histories, including charges for drugs and violence.
Schumann is believed to be the shooter in the scenario, while Ibarra would be the redheaded young woman who witnesses saw knock on Rodriguez' door that night, luring him outside.
Rodriguez was gunned down in his front yard around 6:10 p.m. last Wednesday. A green SUV was seen speeding away from the scene — and Villegas says now that detectives began their investigation by trying to track down the car.
A task force of 15 to 35 detectives have worked the case around the clock since Rodriguez' horrific death on a quiet suburban cul de sac.
Along with the anonymous tip, Villegas says “key information from school police officers as well as school-district officials” helped lead the team to Schumann and Ibarra, who were arrested separately.
L.A. City Councilman Dennis Zine was present at the press conference as well. He spoke of the fear in the community, following Rodriguez' murder, that something as routine as answering a knock at the door could turn deadly.
The LAPD was obviously frantic to nip this fear in the bud — hence the hasty, high-profile investigation and today's arrests. Villegas says there are still question marks:
“This case is far from being over. There are still pieces of information that we need to solidify so that we can further corroborate what we believe occurred on that particular evening. There's a specific anonymous tip that came to us, and we need that person to come forward, identify himself or herself, and provide us with additional information that we need to further solidify this case.”
More to come. Check back for updates.