Police received a 911 call just before 11 p.m. Thursday, reporting a man with a gun in the 400 block of Wisteria Place. The caller turned out to be the 14-year-old himself. Responding officers say they found Jose Rodriguez Jr. armed with a pistol-gripped shotgun.
According to Cpl. Anthony Bertagna with Santa Ana police, witnesses said they heard police order Rodriguez to drop his weapon. Bertagna said that's when Rodriguez raised the gun and pointed it at the officers. Officers fired, and Rodriguez was struck. He later died at a nearby hospital.
Santa Ana police searched Rodriguez's home and found a suicide note. The exact contents of the note were not immediately released.
Friends say they can't understand why this happened. They say Rodriguez played football Thursday night and appeared fine. Other friends described Rodriguez as a good student at Segerstrom High School with many friends and a clear record.
"He was just a good football player. Everybody liked him on the team. They were like his best friends. It's like their brother to him," said Rodriguez's friend Clarissa Arriaga.
Arriaga also said he had promised to escort her during a homecoming ceremony Friday.
"He was friendly, everybody liked him," said Arriaga. "Today he was going to walk me down the red carpet. He was just a good kid."
The homecoming dance has been postponed. The Santa Ana Unified School District says its providing grief counselors at Segerstrom High School
Meantime, police are interviewing Rodriguez's football coach, friends and family to try to figure out what may have been going on in the young man's life. Authorities are also trying to find out where Rodriguez got the shotgun, since police say his family does not own weapons.
Anyone with information about this case was asked to call Santa Ana police at (714) 245-8665.