The suspect wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of a 20-year-old mother in broad daylight on Thursday in Hudson, Massachusetts, has surrendered to police and has been charged with murder, officials announced.
Luis Santos, 23, of Hudson, is in custody after turning himself into the Hudson Police Department around 7:15 p.m. Friday after being on the run since Thursday afternoon, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan and Hudson Chief of Police Michael Burks said at a joint press conference.
Santos is now charged with murder in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Karla Rodriguez, of Framingham.
Arranged through his attorney, Santos surrendered on a warrant charging him with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury, unlawful possession of a firearm and armed assault with intent to murder.
Law enforcement had been searching for Santos since identifying him as the suspect in Rodriguez's death and warned the public to consider him armed and dangerous.
"Given the nature of what took place yesterday and obviously there were efforts being made today during the day to locate Mr. Santos, it's always good to have these things come to a resolution that is peaceful," Ryan said when announcing his surrender.
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Chief Burks thanked the community Friday night for their patience and trust that police were doing the best they could in the apprehension of Santos.
Officials say Santos and Rodriguez had been dating for the past three months.
Authorities stated Rodriguez and Santos were returning to Santos' apartment building on Howe Street around 2 p.m. Thursday when there was some type of disagreement. Investigators say Rodriguez was in the drivers seat of her blue Subaru outside the Hudson apartment when Santos allegedly fired several shots into the car before fleeing the scene on foot.
Officers responding to a 911 call found Rodriguez suffering from gunshot wounds. She was taken to an area hospital and later taken by medical helicopter to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, where she was pronounced dead early Friday.
“Every time I see her she was always smiling,” said Markelis Sanchez, who was Rodriguez’s neighbor in Framingham.
Sanchez says Rodriguez was the mom of a little baby boy.
“I’m totally in shock. She was a very happy person. She was always with her kid," Sanchez said. "I always see her going into the building, then going back into her car. She was a happy person."
A woman who identified herself as a cousin of Santos said Friday that the family was stunned.
"It's shocking but I mean, we have to move on," the woman said.
A heavy police presence descended upon the neighborhood Thursday as officers with long guns drawn searched the area for Santos, who fled the scene on foot.
The incident prompted Camela A. Farley Elementary School to issue a lockdown as a precaution. Students were released through a controlled dismissal.
Diane Chaves lives right next door to the Howe Street apartment building where Rodriguez was shot and killed inside her vehicle.
"I was home and I didn't hear anything," she said. "I didn't hear gunshots. I didn't even hear sirens."
"Definitely concerning," she added. "But I've been here for 20-plus years, I've lived near this apartment building. I've never had any issues."
Santos will be arraigned Monday in Marlborough District Court.
The Department of Children and Families has been contacted regarding Rodriguez's baby boy, DA Ryan said.
This is an active and ongoing investigation by the district attorney's office, local and state police.