VISALIA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — A Reedley man was sentenced to death for the 2015 murders of two men in a Dinuba orchard, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office says.
Hernan Rodriguez, 29, approached coworkers at a plum orchard off Avenue 400 and Road 74 in Dinuba on May 20, 2015. He used a highly modified, sawed-off 9mm semi-automatic rifle wrapped in duct tape, and fired seven rounds in rapid succession at six men seated on the ground.
One 57-year-old victim died at the scene from a gunshot wound to his head.
A 65-year-old victim was rushed to the hospital, where he lost brain activity after a day and was taken off life support around two weeks later.
A 60-year-old victim was shot through the stomach and arm and survived multiple surgeries and over three months in the hospital.
Rodriguez immediately fled but was apprehended a short time later by the Dinuba Police
Department and the Tulare County Sheriff’s Office.
A police K9 unit later found the gun in the orchard, stuck in the branches of a tree.
“The families of the victims have waited for this day. Today, these hard-working
grandfathers received justice,” said District Attorney Tim Ward.
“I know much has been said about the status of the death penalty in our state. Despite the Governor’s stance, it is still law. In this case, the decision to seek the ultimate punishment was warranted.”