A parolee who was released from prison last year has been identified as the suspect in a violent crime spree around the Houston area that left two women and a man dead.
Jose Gilberto Rodriguez, 46, is the suspect in three murders, the latest of which happened at a Mattress One store Monday afternoon along the North Freeway near Crosstimbers.
In a joint news conference Monday evening, Houston police and the Harris County Sheriff's Office linked Rodriguez to the Mattress One murder, the murder of a female worker Saturday at the Mattress Firm near Willowbrook Mall, and the killing of a 62-year-old widow in Cypress last Friday.
Both agencies also connected Rodriguez to an armed home invasion on July 9 and the shooting and robbery of a METRO Lift driver earlier Monday. The driver is expected to recover.
Authorities said Rodriguez may be driving a dark Nissan Sentra that was taken from the Mattress One scene. It has a Texas license plate of KPD 2805.
Rodriguez is considered armed and "extremely" dangerous, according to HPD Chief Art Acevedo.
Authorities described Rodriguez as about 5'9" in height and between 150 and 160 pounds. He has brown eyes and a bald or shaved head.
Rodriguez has numerous tattoos on both arms, both sides of his neck, and on the top of his head.
Eyewitness News learned Rodriguez has convictions for burglary, attempted aggravated sex abuse, auto theft, and criminal trespassing, all since 1989. He is a registered sex offender.
Last September, Rodriguez made parole and was released from prison. In a startling revelation, police believe Rodriguez had cut off an ankle monitor that had been tracking his movements.
Breaking: manhunt is on for Jose Gilberto Rodriguez, 46, possible suspect in at least 3 murders. Investigators believe he killed 2 women & one man in less than a week. He’s armed & dangerous, they say. May be in a gray Nissan Sentra TX KPD 2805. @CrimeStopHOU or #ABC13 pic.twitter.com/2pIt8PYzpx— Jessica Willey (@ImJessicaWilley) July 16, 2018
Houston police investigating another mattress store homicide. This one at 4400 North Freeway. Investigators trying to figure out if this is related to the earlier Mattress Firm murder at 7592 FM 1960. Latest ahead on @abc13houston pic.twitter.com/W9BA2xYZKV— Steven Romo (@StevenABC13) July 16, 2018
Breaking-On the scene of a murder at another mattress store. From sources: @houstonpolice and @hcsotexas looking into whether it’s connected to one from over the weekend and possibly more violent crimes. This is 45&Crosstimbers. #ABC13 pic.twitter.com/N7GjpxdjaO— Jessica Willey (@ImJessicaWilley) July 16, 2018
Last Saturday, a store manager found the body of Allie Barrow between two mattresses at the Mattress Firm on FM-1960.
RELATED: Mattress Firm manager finds employee shot to death inside store's office
Last Friday, 62-year-old Pamela Johnson was found dead in her home. Authorities say the woman's vehicle was seen being driven by a man shortly after.
RELATED: Man caught on video driving murdered Cypress woman's car wanted for questioning
In the midst of the investigation, Mattress One released a statement, expressing sympathy for the victim's friends and family:
Mattress1One is deeply saddened and would like to offer its deepest condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of its deceased associate.
On July 16th we lost a valued team member and were very saddened by the events that transpired. We are fully cooperating with all law enforcement to quickly bring justice to this matter. Out of respect for the team member, his family and the law enforcement investigation we will refrain from commenting further at this time.
Authorities urge anyone who encounters Rodriguez to not take any action. They instead urge people to call Harris County homicide detectives at 713-274-9100 or Houston police at 713-308-8888.
Tips are also being taken by Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477). A reward of up to $5,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and/or charging of Rodriguez.