Every month, Lidia A. Rodriguez visits the site where her son lay dying. She brings flowers and posters, hoping people won’t forget Salome Rodriguez Jr., because she hasn’t forgotten how he died.
“He was a good man, he was an innocent man,” she said of her son. “I want people to know my son, to know who he was.”
Rodriguez was fatally shot on March 13, 2015, during a fight outside a Pomona nightclub. He was 23 years old.
The suspect, Henry Solis, was a rookie officer with the Los Angeles Police Department at the time, and was off duty when the shooting occurred. He allegedly chased the victim down and shot him. With the help of his father, Solis then fled to Mexico, where he was eventually captured.
Solis, who is now 31, was charged with murder and assault with a firearm.
On the fourth anniversary of her son’s death Wednesday, Lidia Rodriguez said she is frustrated that Solis has not gone to trial.
She and her family are in court when Solis has an appearance. She said the defendant keeps firing his attorneys, thus postponing the process.
Court records show there have been dozens of hearings on the case since Solis was first arraigned in February 2016. Of those, 11 appeared to be related to Solis' defense attorney.
Solis is expected to return to court on March 27 for a pre-trial hearing.
The victim's mother said that she has not been able to get closure because of the delay.
“I never thought this could take so long,” she said. “I just want it finished. We want to live our lives, and we can’t.”
She said seeing Solis in court is painful.
“When we see him alive, it hurts us because my son it is not alive,” she said. “I always think, ‘if you are a police man, if you were a Marine, why did you kill my son? You had it all. You killed an innocent man for nothing.’”
She said there are days when she can’t sleep. She imagines her son calling out for her and thinking of his family during his last moments.
“That’s why I come. This is where Jr. suffered. This is where it ended,” she said. “People say that it gets easier. No it doesn’t get easier.”