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Police ID suspected gunman in fatal Auburn shooting

Dennis Rodriguez allegedly shot another man before killing himself
By: Jon Schultz, Journal Staff Writer
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Policed identified 53-year-old Dennis Manuel Rodriguez, of Auburn, as the man who they suspect fatally shot himself after shooting another man, who survived, at his home on Bald Hill Road early Sunday morning, said Dena Erwin, Placer County Sheriff’s Office public information officer.

The two had been in an altercation that may have stemmed from the man driving to Rodriguez’s home to accuse him of starting the fire that destroyed the residence of a woman they both knew living about three miles away on Millertown Road, police said.

Police did not know Monday whether that accusation is valid, and on Tuesday Cal Fire was still investigating the cause of the fire that they responded to around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, about an hour and a half before Placer County Sheriff’s deputies arrived at the scene of the shooting.

The fire gutted the upper level living quarters of an outbuilding where the daughter of the homeowner had resided, making it a complete loss, though some of the lower level storage area was salvageable, Cal Fire said.

Rodriguez had been arrested a month earlier at the same residence where the fire was reported Sunday, Erwin said.

Placer County Sheriff’s deputies arrested him on Dec. 4 on charges of burglary, possession of stolen property and vandalism after he allegedly broke into the home, unpinned the hinges of a locked closet to take guns, jewelry and other items, Erwin said.

Rodriguez had been released from jail on Wednesday, though it remains unclear whether he had posted the $50,000 bail, and had been scheduled back in court on Jan. 16 for an early status conference.

The shooting victim, who has not been identified, had surgery and was expected to survive.

Jon Schultz can be reached at jons@goldcountrymedia. Follow him on Twitter @Jon_AJNews