28-year-old Jose Rivera-Sabo turned himself into police after he shot a man and a woman on Sunday. Rivera-Sabo claimed self-defense, but York City Police Department (YCPD) disagreed.
When Police detectives interviewed Rivera-Sabo’s girlfriend, who was driving the car they were traveling in on North Belvidere Avenue, they got a clearer picture of events that transpired.
According to her statement to police, they were driving when a group of pedestrians began to cross the street in front of them unexpectedly, forcing the unidentified woman to slam on her breaks.
She then beeped her horn at them, prompting the group to yell at her that she had almost struck them with her vehicle.
That’s when 32-year-old Francisco Rodriguez, angrily kicked her car.
The woman got out of the vehicle, and began to argue with him, asking why he kicked her car. Another woman, 31-year-old Krystal Rodriguez (unknown relation) entered the argument as well.
Rivera-Sabo’s girlfriend told officers the argument quickly escalated into a fight. Then she said she heard shots and saw the female Rodriguez trying to crawl away with wounds to her legs.
Rivera-Sabo then told her to get back into the vehicle and they drove away. When she asked him if he fired the shots he replied “yes”, he had fired his gun at the victims.
Rivera-Sabo had her call 911 and then take him to a YCPD station to turn himself in.
Detectives reviewed surveillance footage of the shooting, which showed Rivera-Sabo and his girlfriend engaged in the fight around the stopped car in the middle of the street.
“The passenger/defendant (Rivera-Sabo) is seen going back into the passenger side of the vehicle and then comes back out and begins to fire at the people on the street,” detectives reported in an affidavit about the shooting.
Krystal Rodriguez was wounded three times, 2 in her left leg and 1 in her right leg which missed her “main artery”, presumably her femoral artery. Francisco Rodriguez was shot once in his right leg.
Investigators located 3 spent 9mm casings and one bullet found in the street near the shooting, perhaps implying both Rodriguez’s were injured by 1 of the same bullets.
When Rivera-Sabo, who had recently received his concealed carry permit, turned himself into police, he said he feared he and his girlfriend were going to be hurt in the fight.
He told police he fired his gun towards the ground, but when asked by detectives, he could not give a reason he felt to be in danger.
“He could not give us an example,” police said in the affidavit.
Officers then told Rivera-Sabo that the reviewed video footage, “… doesn’t show any type of self-defense.”
He reportedly told officers he had never been informed when he could or could not use his gun.
When police told him he was going to be arrested for the shooting, he refused to say anything more and demanded a lawyer.
Rivera-Sabo is being held at York County Prison instead of paying the $150,000 bail, awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for January 15.
As most people know, ignorance of the law is not a valid legal defense (Ignorantia juris non excusat- Latin, “Ignorance of the Law excuses not”).
Rivera-Sabo should have acquired the proper training before carrying his weapon for self-defense.
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