An Outlook man who shot and killed his father will not face criminal charges because he acted in self-defense, Yakima County Prosecutor Joe Brusic said Monday.
Benjamin Rodriguez, 19, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder last Wednesday for the death of his father, Jose Rodriguez.
Benjamin shot his father in the face during a confrontation in which both men were armed at Jose’s parents’ home on the 200 block of Tomlinson Road, where they both lived. No one else was home at the time.
That day, Benjamin said his father was trying to get into a small safe that contained his grandparents’ medication but was unable to get it open, sending him into a fit of rage, court documents say.
In his rampage, Jose grabbed a rifle and began shooting it outside. Benjamin grabbed his own rifle and told his father to stop. Instead, his father aimed his rifle at him, so the teen shot him in the face, court documents say.
He and his grandparents later told investigators that Jose had a long history of drug use and abusive behavior toward everyone who lives at the home.
“Benjamin shot his father when he believed he was going to get shot,” Brusic said.
Brusic said in a statement that Jose’s history of drug use and volatility over the years played a major factor in his decision to drop charges.
“The subjective analysis of the facts presented to the suspect, under the conditions that existed at that time to him on April 10, would, in my humble opinion, defeat any criminal charge for murder or manslaughter at trial,” Brusic said.
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