Philadelphia police are investigating an apparent murder-suicide involving officer Jose Rodriguez, 39, and his estranged wife, Evelyse Rodriguez, 36.
Police arrived on the 4600 block of Weymouth Street in the Juniata Park section of the city around 9:30 a.m., on Monday after one of the couple’s children couldn’t get in touch with one of their parents, said Capt. Sekou Kinebrew.
Inside a row home near the middle of the block, police found the man’s wife in the dining room with multiple gunshot wounds “throughout her body.” The officer, an 11-year veteran assigned to the 19th District in West Philadelphia, was found in the basement with a single gunshot wound to the head.
“Right now we’re surmising, even though it’s very early in the investigation, that the male, who is an active duty Philadelphia police officer, shot and killed the female, who is his wife, and then went down in the basement and turned the gun on himself,” said Kinebrew.
No one else — including the couple’s 17 year-old daughter or 11 year-old son — were home at the time of the shooting, which happened sometime between Sunday and Monday morning, he said.
“It’s a tragedy all around. The victim, obviously, is the wife because she died at his hands,” said Kinebrew.
Police Commissioner Richard Ross said he hopes any officers struggling with their lives outside of work will reach out for help.
“Ironically we had just put out some messaging just last week about this issue encouraging officers with any concerns they may have about their mental health to seek that type of help and not be concerned about any stigma,” Ross said.
The investigation is expected to continue into the evening.
On Monday afternoon, about a half-dozen neighbors quietly watched detectives comb the taped-off crime scene.
Standing with one of his neighbors on the sidewalk, Walberto Pagan said he talked to the police officer every day, including Sunday. They talked about salsa music and cars.
“I didn’t know he had a problem … with his wife,” said Pagan, who has lived on this block of Weymouth Street for seven years. “He was a good guy — a good neighbor.”
“He never have problem with nobody,” added Saed Khalil.