Man gets life in prison for deadly shooting in front of hospital

Jesus Rodriguez Jr. (Austin Police Department)
Jesus Rodriguez Jr. (Austin Police Department)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — A 34-year-old man who shot and killed a man outside of University Medical Center Brackenridge just minutes before the start of 2014 will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Michael Norwood, 48, was outside smoking a cigarette when Jesus Rodriguez Jr. shot him on Dec. 31, 2013, just 50 feet away from the emergency room door.

A witness, who didn’t know the victim, told authorities she was outside smoking with Norwood when Rodriguez walked by and said “What did you say to me?” Both the witness and Norwood ignored the passerby. A few minutes later, Rodriguez came back and said “What were you saying to me?” The victim told Rodriguez he didn’t say anything to him.

Michael Norwood was shot and killed in front of UMCB on Dec. 31, 2013. (Courtesy: Norwood Family)
Michael Norwood was shot and killed in front of UMCB on Dec. 31, 2013. (Courtesy: Norwood Family)

According to the female witness, that’s when Rodriguez pulled out a gun and shot the victim two times, Norwood died a short time later. Rodriguez tried to run away but hospital security staff were able to catch him within one minute of the shooting.

In an arrest warrant, Rodriguez told authorities there had been suspicious activity occurring to him and his family and he believed a large group, headed by his ex-girlfriend’s husband were out to kill him. Rodriguez said he had gone to the hospital for back pain that night and because he believed it was a secure place to hide from the people who were trying to kill him. While he was in the hospital, Rodriguez felt like Norwood was following him everywhere he went. He told detectives he knew the “black male” was with the group of people who were trying to kill him.

Even though the man who murdered her uncle will spend the rest of his life behind bars, Latasha Black says it’s a bittersweet moment for the family. “It’s a lose-lose situation. My uncle is not going to be here. He’s no longer with us.”

Rodriguez’ trial started last week and a jury found him guilty of murder on Friday. A judge sentenced Rodriguez to life in prison Tuesday morning.

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