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Beaumont Police make arrest in Saturday shooting death of man near mall

Jesse Angel Rodriguez was fatally shot while driving a pickup truck along Dowlen Road beneath the Eastex Freeway overpass.

BEAUMONT, Texas — Thanks to a Crime Stoppers tip, police have a Port Arthur man in custody in connection with the shooting death of a 20-year-old Beaumont man Saturday evening near Parkdale Mall.

Police announced Monday afternoon that they had arrested Martin Vincent Pettway, 21, of Port Arthur, in connection with the murder of Jesse Angel Rodriguez.

Pettway was arrested on a murder charge Monday in Port Arthur following a Crime Stoppers tip police said.

Rodriquez was fatally shot while driving a pickup truck along Dowlen Road beneath the Eastex Freeway overpass.

The shooting happened following a disturbance that began at CiCi’s Pizza in the Target shopping Center according to a news release from the Beaumont Police Department.

Pettway and Rodriguez "interacted" inside the pizza restaurant and police said to call it an altercation "would be a stretch."

According to a probable cause affidavit, Pettway was with another man and two women, and witnesses told investigators the four got into a Ford Fusion after leaving CiCis Pizza in the 5800 block of Eastex Freeway. 

Witnesses told investigators there were multiple gunshots from the inside of the Ford Fusion.

Police are still unsure of the motive for the shooting and are still looking for several others to speak to about the incident.

Police say Rodriguez got into his truck and drove off after the disturbance and was shot while driving just after leaving the parking lot.

Rodriguez was taken to CHRISTUS St. Elizabeth, where police say he died.

Beaumont police have been speaking to witnesses and looking for people who may have seen the daylight shooting.

Police had asked for the public’s help in finding four people seen in surveillance video from the restaurant.

Credit: Beaumont Police Department
Martin Vincent Pettway, 21, of Port Arthur

HELP | GoFundMe set up by family of Jess Rodriguez

RELATED: Beaumont police search for suspect after 20-year-old killed in shooting under Eastex overpass near Dowlen

RELATED: Victim dies after Saturday night shooting, Beaumont police looking to speak with people in surveillance video

 A witness told 12News what she saw left her heartbroken.

"I just started calling my family to make sure to it was none of them because you couldn't really see exactly who or what was going on," Patricia Gibson said. "And I just prayed for the victim and everybody involved. Even the shooter, because their life is over to whether they know it or not."

Rodriguez’s family has set up a GoFundMe fundraiser to offset funeral costs.

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CRIME STOPPERS | Submit a tip @ 833Tips.com

If you have information about this crime you could earn a cash reward of up to $1000 by providing an ANONYMOUS tip to Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas.

Call 833-TIPS (8477) or text “BMT” followed by your tip information to CRIMES (274637) from your mobile phone.