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Police confirm DeSoto County fair victim and POI knew each other

A 17-year-old died after being shot at the fair
Daniel Rodriguez.jpg
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Posted at 5:16 PM, Feb 05, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-07 06:13:57-05

DESOTO COUNTY, Fla. — According to the Arcadia Police department, the victim Daniel Rodriguez-Lopez and the person of interest knew each other. Authorities said a fight broke out which initiated the shooting.

Arcadia Police Officers and DeSoto County Sheriff's Office Deputies were called out to a shooting that happened at the DeSoto County Fairgrounds.

When they arrived they found 17-year-old Daniel Rodriguez-Lopez with a gunshot wound to the chest area. He was taken to the hospital where he died from his injury.

After the tragic turn of events at the DeSoto County fair, the tight-knit community of Arcadia is completely rocked.

“It really hits us to the core, it really shook this whole town, people jumping fences….that doesn’t happen in Arcadia,” said Ashley Beck a family friend of Daniel's family. "It rips our hearts out to know that every child at the fair that saw it now how to live with it."

Ashley Beck told Fox 4 that she grew up with Daniel's mother and she is in complete shock at what happened.

“From what I heard about him from his mother he was a firecracker…he was hyper and always wanted to be out doing something," Beck said. "I saw videos of him fishing all the time, he was a very outgoing child.”

A worker at the fair who did not want to give his name, saw a crowd of people rushing to where Daniel was shot. He then stopped the ride and went over to administer CPR to the 17-year-old.

"He was gasping for air,” he said. "That was my first time doing it, I was pretty shaken up. I wish I could have saved him."

With the recent shootings that have been happening in DeSoto County and the recent threat at the DeSoto High School, the community is calling for the violence to stop.

"It breaks my heart, I grew up here, you used to didn't have to worry about going to school and getting shot," Beck said.

“The community got to come together, like I said this is a small town, everybody knows everybody." the man added.

With the permission of the family, Ashley Beck has scheduled a fundraiser to help with the funeral cost for Daniel.

Beck's Truckin Good BBQ will have Pull Pork dinners with two sides. The fundraiser is 11:00 am, Sunday, February 12th at HWY 70 East in DeSoto County—all donations will go to Daniel's family to cover the funeral costs.

Arcadia Police released the following statement on Monday, February 6, 2023.

Marshal Jones and the entire Arcadia Police Department would like to extend our condolences to the victim's family as they grieve their loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.
Arcadia Police Department

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Arcadia Police Department at 863-494-2222.