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ONLY ON 10: "He was my heart," says mother of shooting victim | News

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ONLY ON 10: "He was my heart," says mother of shooting victim

WINTER HAVEN, Fla. - Diana Barajas had no way of knowing that when she fixed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for her teenaged son before his workout Tuesday, it would be their final farewell.

 "I hugged and kissed him goodbye.  I said, 'God be with you,'" Diana sobbed. 

She would never see her son, 19-year-old Christian Rodriguez, alive again.

Christian and his two best buddies, Joe Palacios and Estaban Zavala, were inseparable. They were often called "the three musketeers." They goofed around on the beach, played video games and attended school together at Polk State College.

They lived each and every day together, and on Tuesday night, two of them would die together.

The trio had gone to a friend's Winter Haven apartment. Just after 6:30 p.m., their lives would be changed forever.

A friend of theirs, 32-year-old Joshua Davis, was at the apartment with his 6-year-old daughter. The men all knew each other from their jobs at McDonald's.

Investigators say Davis was hanging out with the three close friends that night and that they went outside to "smoke pot."

After that, Davis got what he called a "dark" feeling, detectives say, and went into his bedroom to get his gun. He came out shooting and killed his two friends, Rodriguez and Palacios, at close range.

"He is a cold-blooded killer," said Police Chief Gary Hester.

Zavala was able to get away as Davis ran out of ammo, detectives said. It was then that Davis locked the door and tended to his little girl, who is now staying with relatives.

Zavala was found collapsed in the street by a police officer and brought to safety. He remains in the hospital.

What family members are having a hard time grasping is why someone would do this. The trio of good friends were peacemakers, relatives say. They wouldn't hurt anyone and never started fights.

So, why did Davis snap? Police say he has "no remorse."

No one seems to know what the motive was, although the police chief pointed out that the 32-year-old constantly played the video game, Battlefield 3, a first-person shooter.

"He played the game every day," said Chief Hester. Davis is a marksman, investigators say, and has spent time at the shooting range.

Meanwhile, the family of nursing student Christian Rodriguez is heartbroken. The teenager had planned to spend his life helping people. "There will never be another Christian. We will wait until the day we can see him again," said Cris Barajas, a cousin.

Funeral plans are being arranged right now, and Christian's family is planning a t-shirt drive on campus to bring awareness to gun violence.

Davis is now in custody on two counts of first degree murder, one count of attempted first degree murder, and one count of child abuse.


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