Police Officer & Talented 17-Year-Old Are Shot Dead Hours After Teen's Graduation

Mark Rodriguez was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and because of it, the 17-year-old recent high school graduate became the latest victim in yet another senseless shooting spree. Mark was driving home from a graduation celebration after earning his diploma from Norfolk Christian Schools in Virginia. James Brown, 29, reportedly shot at least one bullet at the teen's car, hitting and killing Mark at the scene. Brown then allegedly kept firing at random, but didn't hit more civilians. Police officers Brian Jones and Curtis Allison responded to calls and caught up with the suspect after he had already fled home. Brown reportedly shot at the cops multiple times from inside of his house, killing Jones

And it didn't end there.

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The suspect then allegedly took off in his car, but promptly crashed into another vehicle. Cops, who had surrounded him by this point, say he didn't listen to and follow their orders. He even tried to take one of their weapons and got physical with the officer. As a result, a cop shot Brown and he died on the spot.

What a horrendous story -- one that makes absolutely no sense. Brown didn't know the teen and there is no plausible explanation for why he should have taken his life. Officer Jones has two sons and a daughter who no longer have a father -- and for what reason?

This wasn't the first time the suspect had run-ins with the law. He was convicted of assaulting a police officer 4 years ago and served a one-year sentence for carrying a loaded weapon in 2012. I guess one year wasn't enough time for Brown to learn his lesson and, sadly, a teen and beloved father had to pay the price for it.

According to his friends and family, Mark had strong religious convictions and a passion for photography. His website is truly amazing and when you see the beautiful images he was capable of capturing, you're going to find it impossible to believe this talent was just 17. A message posted on the Norfolk Christian School Facebook page read:

The Norfolk Christian community is stunned and heartbroken at the sudden loss of one of our own, senior Mark Rodriguez. Mark had a passion for his Savior that permeated everything he did. Our prayers are with Mark's family and the many friends, faculty and staff left here to honor his memory.

Hoping the many people who love and miss Mark and Officer Jones somehow get through this agonizing period of their lives and find peace.

Do you think the consequences for possessing an illegal gun are strict enough?


Image via Instagram

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