The man accused of fatally stabbing another man in the parking lot of a Temecula Walmart was released on bail Thursday.
Authorities identified the suspect as James Fortney, a 40-year-old local resident.
Fortney was arrested just after midnight Thursday but later released on bail, according to Riverside County jail records. He was arrested on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter in connection with the death of 19-year-old Kevin Rodriguez, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office. Fortney was held at the scene after Rodriguez was killed Wednesday.
Sheriff’s officials have only confirmed that some sort of “altercation” took place between the two men before Fortney stabbed Rodriguez to death around 12:15 p.m. outside the store in the 32200 block of Temecula Parkway.
But in an interview with KTLA Wednesday, Rodriguez’s parents say his girlfriend witnessed the entire ordeal and claims it was an incidence of road rage.
“They saw the guy first honking at a lady going through the crosswalk. She said there was a lot of traffic and this guy looked like he was getting really bad anxiety,” said Atticus Rodriguez, the victim’s father.
After nearly hitting Kevin’s car, Fortney got out of his vehicle and attacked the victim while filming the grisly death, Atticus said.
Rodriguez died after being transported to the hospital for treatment, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
The Murrieta 19-year-old worked as a freelance videographer, according to his Instagram account, where he had more than 37,500 followers.
He was also a “loving” boyfriend, son, brother and cousin, who was “full of life and adventure,” said the author of a GoFundMe page set up to help pay for his funeral costs.
Officials are continuing to investigate the incident, but have released little information.