VAN NUYS (CBS) — A Calabasas man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to a murder charge stemming from the shooting death of a popular El Camino Real High School student and soccer goalie.
Jason Alejandro Schumann, 24, is accused of gunning down 17-year-old Francisco “Pancho” Rodriguez on Jan. 11 in front of his family’s Winnetka home in the 6900 block of Cozycroft Avenue.
Rodriguez had returned home from a soccer game in which El Camino Real played Taft High School to a scoreless tie. Police said a red-haired woman or girl knocked on the family’s door around 6 p.m. and asked for the teen by name. When he went outside, he was shot.
Schumann’s 19-year-old girlfriend, Elizabeth Ibarra, is also a suspect in the killing, but has not been charged with that crime, according to the District Attorney’s Office. She is charged along with Schumann in an unrelated armed robbery case in which a man’s cell phone was taken behind a San Fernando Valley market last Dec. 29.
When announcing the arrests last month, Los Angeles police Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas declined to give a motive for the killing, saying only, “We believe it was personally motivated.” He said the shooting was not believed to be gang-related.
Police sources told the Daily News and Los Angeles Times, however, that Rodriguez may have been in a love triangle — becoming involved with a woman who had a jealous male friend.
The deputy chief said investigators were led to the suspects by anonymous tips and help from the victim’s family, Los Angeles School Police and Los Angeles Unified School District officials.
A 15-member LAPD task force made the arrests after tracking down the green Ford Explorer witnesses saw fleeing the murder scene, according to The Times.
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