Suspect arraigned on charges in deadly Worcester State University shooting week after capture

A week after he was captured by authorities in New York, a young man was arraigned Thursday on charges in connection with a deadly shooting on the campus of Worcester State University

Kevin Rodriguez, 18, was arraigned in Worcester District Court on charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and armed assault with intent to murder in a shooting at the university on Oct. 28 that claimed the life of Randy Armando Melendez Jr., 19, of Southbridge.

A plea of not guilty was entered on Rodriguez’s behalf and a judge ordered him held without bail.

Rodriguez signed a waiver of extradition in a New York City courtroom after his capture and he was transported back to the Bay State to face the charges.

Authorities searching for 18-year-old wanted on charges in connection to fatal shooting in Worcester
Authorities searching for 18-year-old wanted on charges in connection to fatal shooting in Worcester

The Worcester Police Department, Worcester State University Police, Massachusetts State Police, the Massachusetts State Police Violent Fugitive Apprehension Section, and the U.S. Marshals Service worked together in tracking down Rodriguez.

At Thursday’s arraignment, prosecutor Lina Pashou told the judge that surveillance video and witness testimony helped police identify Rodriguez as the suspect.

Worcester State University Police responded to the shooting scene after receiving a 911 call. Upon arrival, police located two men, including Melendez, suffering from gunshot wounds.

Melendez died from his injuries. The second victim, a 21-year-old man, was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

Melendez’s family says they are glad Rodriguez got caught, but it doesn’t change anything.

They told Boston 25 News their son didn’t know Rodriguez, and that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I’m lost. I have no idea what happened. How it happened.” Melendez’s father, Randy said after sat in the courtroom. “This is devasting to me, my family, to everybody that loved him.”

Randy Melendez Sr. remembers his son as a fun-loving teenager and a recent high school graduate.

“It was his birthday weekend, just turned 19 on Monday. Went out for the weekend to celebrate. And then all this happened,” Melendez Sr. said.

His son’s violent death is all he can think about. Now, he’s looking for justice.

“Why did you want to be in court today?” Boston 25 Reporter Bob Ward asked him.

“I wanted to show my face. And I wanted to see the face of the person who did this to my son. That’s why I’m there. And I’m going to be there, every time no matter what,” he said.

Rodriguez is due back in court for a dangerousness hearing on Nov. 16.

An investigation remains ongoing.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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