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Teen arrested for the murder of DeSoto County teenager

DeSoto Teenager Killed
Posted at 10:55 AM, Feb 08, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-09 11:07:02-05

DESOTO COUNTY, Fla. — Arcadia Police arrested 15-year-old Ryan Watson Jr. for the killing of 17-year-old Daniel Rodriguez-Lopez.

Thursday, Lt. Troy Carrillo, with Arcadia Police said Watson is the suspected shooter from the shooting Saturday night at the DeSoto County Fair.

Ryan Watson Jr.
Ryan Watson Jr.

Watson Jr. is a minor but Fox 4 released his mug shot because of the murder charges he now faces.

Authorities said a fight broke out which initiated the fatal shooting.

Tuesday, Daniel’s mother Stephanie Castro said she couldn’t believe someone would beat her child and then shoot him. She added that it’s so unfair and she needs justice.

A day after Daniel's mother pled for answers, Arcadia police answered questions about the arrest of suspect.

"It’s a sigh of relief, absolutely," said Lt. Tory Carrillo, with Arcadia Police. "Me personally, I wish it would have came sooner.”

Wednesday, police went to Watson’s home executing a search warrant but he wasn’t home. Lt. Carrillo said his mom showed up to the home and told police Watson Jr. was at his uncle's house. According to Lt. Carrillo, Watson Jr. didn't resist arrest and he is being charged as a juvenile as of now.

Lt. Carrillo said police believe Watson Jr. fired the gunshot that hit the Daniel after a fight that broke out.

"It’s a problem with kids getting guns,” said Pedro Castro, Daniel's father.

When speaking with Daniel's family on Tuesday, Pedro spoke about how he felt his son's death was an example of rising gun violence in the community.

Watson Jr. was the first to be arrested during this investigation and he may not be the last. Arcadia Police are still looking for leads to find anyone who was involved in the incident.

Fox 4 asked police with the recent shootings in DeSoto, is there a chance they are connected.

"During our investigation, we don’t find anything that shows the two were related,” Lt. Carrillo said.

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

Daniel Rodriguez-Lopez, was taken to the hospital where he later died. According to the Arcadia Police department, the two teenagers knew each other.

This case remains active and is still being investigated.

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