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Arrest made for shots fired during funeral at Pueblo County church

Posted at 7:12 PM, Nov 08, 2018

PUEBLO COUNTY – A 26-year-old Pueblo man is behind bars in connection with a shots fired call in the parking lot of a Blende church during a funeral service.

Family and friends were at the church to pay their last respects to Frankie Hernandez, the 38-year-old man killed in a crash in Pueblo West last Tuesday.

Leonard Rodriguez
Leonard Rodriguez

Leonard Rodriguez is facing charges of attempted first-degree murder, menacing, reckless endangerment, possession of a weapon by a previous offender and drug charges.

According to deputies, witnesses report people inside a Ford Escape and a black Chrysler were arguing in the church parking lot around 10:30 a.m. when someone in the Ford opened fire.  No one was injured.

St Joseph Church in Blende
Pueblo Co Sheriff’s Office investigates shooting outside St Joseph Church in Blende.

The Chrysler was found at a home on E. 18th Street in Pueblo where officers questioned everyone involved. No one was arrested at the home.

Deputies were able to obtain information that pointed to Leonard Rodriguez as the person who fired the gun. He was found in a parking lot on Bonforte Ave in Pueblo.

So far, detectives are not commenting on a possible motive for the shooting.

The man whose funeral was underway died in a crash last week. Frankie Hernandez was driving a stolen Honda when he hit a pickup on John Powell Blvd.  Hernandez and his passenger, 40-year-old Catherine Tafoya, were both killed in the crash.

Tafoya spoke to News5 just four days before the crash. She was asking for the public’s help in finding the person responsible for killing her son on October 25th.  Police in Pueblo have a 17-year-old suspect in custody on a murder charge for the death of Elijah Naranjo.