Police close in on motive in murder of 13-year-old

CARROLLTON,Ga -- With almost certainty, Carrollton police say Nizzear Rodriguez, 13, was not the target of two suspects who walked into his home early Sunday morning and shot him in the head.

But police may be closing in on a motive behind the mistaken identity shooting. "We are looking into different reasons they might have been at that location and why they went to that particular apartment," said Capt. Chris Dobbs.

One reason may be because of what happened at a Carrollton bar an hour or two before Rodriguez was killed. Capt. Dobbs said two of the suspects in the murder, Malik Davis, 17, and Ken Wheat, 21, were at that bar and one of them got involved in an altercation.

Police said Davis and Wheat may have gone to Rodriguez's apartment seeking retribution for the fight. "That's a possibility we cannot answer that for sure but that could be a possibility," Capt. Dobbs said. "We are looking into it."

Police don't know if the suspects had the right apartment and wrong person, or the wrong apartment. But they say the suspects caught an innocent Rodriguez in the middle of their squabble. "I do not believe he was a target for them," Dobbs said.

Both Davis and Wheat were in the apartment when Rodriguez was killed, according to police, but they don't know who pulled the trigger.

Police said the two suspects ran out of the apartment after the shooting and jumped into a getaway car driven by Jackquline Freeman, 24, of Carrollton. As she walked out of the Carrollton Police Department in handcuffs Freeman was asked if she had anything to say. "I didn't have nothing to do with it," she said.

Even though Freeman said she didn't have anything to do with it, she is charged with murder. Capt. Dobbs said police have information that the suspects discussed what happened in the car with Freeman but she never called police.


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