Jose Gilberto Rodriguez, a parolee, tied to trail of Houston-area crime that left 3 dead

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018
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TIMELINE: Trail of crime leaves 3 dead

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- On Tuesday morning, authorities arrested the recently-released parolee they say is connected to at least five crimes in mid-July 2018.

According to Houston police and the Harris County Sheriff's Office, 46-year-old Jose Gilberto Rodriguez was identified as the person connected to a home invasion, three murders - one inside a Cypress home and two at area mattress stores - and the robbery and shooting of a METROLift bus driver.

Rodriguez was captured in northwest Harris County after he was spotted in a dark Nissan Sentra, a vehicle that belonged to one of the murder victims.

He initially led police on a chase before being captured.

Here is a breakdown of the crimes that authorities believe Rodriguez committed:

July 9, 2018: Investigators believe Rodriguez's alleged trail of crime began at a home off Eldridge Parkway and Fallbrook Drive in northwest Harris County.

According to authorities, a couple in their 80s was targeted as the husband and wife came home from dinner.

The suspect allegedly held a gun to the husband's head as his wife was in the shower. The victim wound up tied and with a pillow over his head.

The suspect took the husband's phone, wallet, and SUV.

RELATED: Jose Rodriguez's alleged crime spree began with home invasion of elderly couple

July 13, 2018: Authorities say they believe Rodriguez's trail of crime turned deadly at the Cypress home of a 62-year-old widow, Pamela Johnson.

On July 13, authorities found Johnson tied up and murdered and her vehicle missing from her home.

However, investigators learned family members had not heard from her since late Tuesday, July 10. It wasn't until a neighbor came over to check on Johnson that her body was located.

She had been shot to death.

RELATED: Sheriff identifies woman found dead inside her Cypress home

July 14, 2018: An employee of the Mattress Firm on FM 1960 across from Willowbrook Mall was found shot to death inside the store.

According to authorities, Allie Barrow's body was found by a manager between two mattresses in a back office.

RELATED: Mattress Firm manager finds employee shot to death inside store's office

July 15, 2018: Johnson's vehicle, a Chrysler PT Cruiser, was found at Willowbrook Mall, not too far away from the Mattress Firm.

Harris County Sheriff's Office released images of a person of interest that they believe used the vehicle.

In surveillance video, the man parks the car, then walks into the mall, before leaving on the other side from where he left the car.

The person of interest is described as a Hispanic man with tattoos on both forearms.

RELATED: Man caught on video driving murdered Cypress woman's car wanted for questioning

July 16, 2018: During the early morning hours, police responded to a gas station along Quitman Street near Eastex Freeway for a shooting.

Police say a METROLift driver was shot and robbed when he stopped to grab a drink and use the restroom. The 22-year-old victim went up to a clerk and another person, telling them he was shot.

He was taken to the hospital in critical condition.

RELATED: METROLift bus driver critical after being shot in northeast Houston

Hours later, Houston police responded to the Mattress One on North Freeway near Crosstimbers, where an employee's body was found at the back of the business. Police say Eduardo Magana was shot to death.

Authorities say a vehicle at the scene was stolen and was believed to be what the suspect was driving.

Later in the day, Houston police and Harris County Sheriff's Office announced Jose Gilberto Rodriguez as the suspect in connection to all five incidents.

Law enforcement officials say Rodriguez is a recently released parolee who is a registered sex offender. He sports features similar to the person seen in the Willowbrook Mall surveillance video.

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says Rodriguez is considered armed and "extremely" dangerous.

RELATED: Suspect wanted in deadly crime spree captured in northwest Harris County

July 17, 2018: Around 6:50 a.m., we begin to hear from Eyewitness News reporter Jeff Ehling that the Harris County Sheriff's Office was attempting to stop a gray Nissan.

About 15 minutes later, a deputy tells ABC13 the person in the vehicle is Rodriguez.

Rodriguez led police on a chase that started around Eldridge and Fallbrook. He was taken into custody at North Eldridge Parkway and Wortham Landing.

RELATED: Jose Gilberto Rodriguez at large as Houston area on edge after deadly crime spree