Henderson murder suspect confesses to targeting 16-year-old cowo - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU


Henderson murder suspect confesses to targeting 16-year-old coworker at gas station

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Rafael Valdez is accused killing a man and injuring two others. (Photo: Henderson Police) Rafael Valdez is accused killing a man and injuring two others. (Photo: Henderson Police)

Police said the man they arrested for shooting three of his coworkers at a Terrible Herbst gas station in Henderson has confessed to murder, but did not kill the employee he was targeting.

Rafael Valdez, 22, is scheduled to be in court on April 18. He has not pleaded guilty.

[RELATED: Police: Henderson gas station employee shoots 3 of his coworkers, killing 1]

One of the three shooting victims died. Zachary Ragusa, 18, was a smog technician. Loved ones held a vigil for Ragusa and described him as the type of guy who was friends with everyone. They could not understand why anyone would shoot him.

"I'm still waiting for his goofy Snapchat or a goofy text," friend Dominic Merten said. "My eyes burn from crying so much."

Officers said when Valdez confessed, he said he was not targeting Ragusa. Instead, he was trying to murder another coworker, a 16-year-old boy who was also shot but survived.

"Rafael admitted that on today's date he brought his Ruger 9mm handgun to work to kill (the 16-year-old)," wrote Officer Dennis Ozawa in his report. "Rafael stated that he had a feeling that people were going to 'screw' him over at work."

[RELATED: Loved ones remember teen killed in Henderson gas station shooting]

Police said Valdez told them he brought the gun to work that morning in a backpack. Valdez also admitted to trying to carjack at least three separate people after the shooting.

"Rafael ran up Sunset Road and through the parking lot... and pointed his handgun at a guy and tried to steal his car to drive to the police station and turn himself in," the report read.

Employees who spoke to FOX5 the day of the shooting had nothing but positive things to say about everyone involved, even Valdez. They said they thought he was friends with the victims.

"He's not like that. He listens. He cares. There's no way," said one woman, who asked not to be identified. "No. This doesn't make any sense. I can't. It's like my mind is blank."

The 16-year-old victim is still in the hospital but was released from ICU on Tuesday. His father said the recovery process will be long.

The third victim, a 22-year-old who was shot in the arm and in the jaw, has been discharged.

Stay with FOX5 for continuing updates on this story.

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