Police arrest murder suspect accused of gunning down man on Long Beach Boulevard

Police announced they have arrested a man suspected of gunning down a 46-year-old man and leaving him lying in a Central Long Beach roadway in September.

Detectives took 21-year-old Junior Alexander Munguia into custody on suspicion of murder Thursday near 17th Street and Henderson Avenue, according to authorities.

That’s about a mile away from where Fernando Rodriguez was found wounded in the lanes of Long Beach Boulevard near 14th Street on Sept. 17 around 1:30 a.m.

Rodriguez was originally taken to the hospital in stable condition but died two days later, police said.

It wasn’t clear how police connected Munguia to the killing or what may have motivated the slaying.

“At this time, there is no indication the murder was gang-related,” police said in a news release.

Detectives believe there was an altercation before the shooting but police declined to provide any more details.

One witness told the Long Beach Post he heard Rodriguez say “Leave me alone,” before the gunshots. Rodriguez was waiting for a friend to return a truck he’d loaned him when he was gunned down, according to Juan-Carlos Garcia, who said he didn’t see the actual shooting but he’d known Rodriguez for 20 years.

Rodriguez worked as a gardener, collected recyclables and was well-liked in the nearby auto shops where he sometimes helped out with work, according to Garcia

“He was friendly to everybody,” Garcia said.

Rodriguez had a wife and four kids, according to Garcia.

Munguia is being held in lieu of $2 million bail, according to police. Detectives are expected to present prosecutors with a murder case against him in the next few days.

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Jeremiah Dobruck is the breaking news editor for the Long Beach Post. He began his journalism career in 2007 as an intern at Palos Verdes Peninsula News and has worked for The Forum Newsgroup in New York City, the Daily Pilot and the Press-Telegram. He lives in Torrance with his wife, Lindsey, and their two young children, Paul and Simon.
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