'I'm suffering': Community mourning 19-year-old shot and killed in Texas City amid rising crime

Shannon Ryan Image
Thursday, June 22, 2023
19-year-old shot and killed in Texas City was recent grad, family says
Texas City police are still searching for whoever is responsible for the death of 19-year-old Jonathan Rodriguez, a recent grad killed on May 31.

TEXAS CITY, Texas (KTRK) -- A 19-year-old was murdered in Texas City, and police are searching for his killer or killers.

Jonathan Rodriguez was shot on May 31 on Texas Avenue, near Third Street.

Multiple people called 911 to report a shooting, with one caller describing a vehicle they believed was involved.

When police stopped the car, they found Rodriguez dying inside.

An ambulance took him to HCA Houston Healthcare Mainland Medical Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Rodriguez's murder is one of three in Texas City year to date.

The 10-year average for homicides has hovered around five - steadily rising over the decade. 2020 was an outlier, experiencing a spike of 14 homicides.

"I don't have words for what needs to stop because I could go on and on and on. Because I'm suffering. My entire family is suffering. His friends. Everybody who knew him," Rodriguez's mother, Kandy Treviño, sobbed.

Stuck in an endless loop of grief, Treviño has been unable to put down her phone - scrolling through photos of her son.

"I can't stop," she said.

Data shows Texas Cty's crime rate has been on the rise, with the 10-year average for homicides hovering around five - steadily rising over the decade.

Dickinson Alternative Education Principal David "Mac" McConnell oversees programs for more than 160 students. Still, Rodriguez's photo is the only one that hangs over his desk. It shows him in a cap and gown on graduation day in 2022.

"He's living proof that you can turn it around," he said.

Rodriguez had a difficult start to life like McConnell. The two met when he was in juvenile detention.

"He wasn't gonna let that happen. He wasn't gonna let that be his story, and we weren't gonna let that be a story either."

Rodriguez soared through the school's accelerated program - making up lost classes. From August 2021 to August 2022, he passed 30 classes.

The average student passes seven in the same timeframe. He was set to attend college this fall to become an anesthesiologist.

"I still can't believe that it happened," McConnell said.

Texas Department of Public Safety data shows of the 2,100 murder victims in the state in 2021, 1,676 were male. Most are under the age of 39.

"We can't continue to allow that to happen, and we're just gonna keep fighting for these young people, myself and my staff, we're gonna do it for (Rodriguez)," McConnell said.

Treviño is raising money to bury her son and has started a GoFundMe.

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