Killing of Popular California Soccer Player Personally Motivated, Police Say

The killing of a promising high school football player in California was “personally motivated,” police say, though authorities are still not specifying a motive.

Police announced the arrests Tuesday of Jason Schumann, 24, of Calabasas, and Elizabeth Ibarra, 19, of Los Angeles. Both were taken into custody Monday for investigation into the murder and were being held on $1 million bail. Both have extensive criminal records and are on probation, police said.

While police would not specify a motive, the Los Angeles Times, citing sources, said it may have been over a love spat. The newspaper said Rodriguez may have been involved with a woman with a jealous “male friend.”

Francisco Javier Rodriguez, Jr., a 17-year-old soccer goalie at El Camino Real High School in Woodland Hills, was shot Jan. 11 shortly after returning home from a game.

Relatives said Rodriguez was killed after answering the door and stepping outside, where a red-haired woman had been seen. Police believe Ibarra lured Rodriguez into the front yard when he was shot. Ibarra apparently dyed her hair dark brown following the shooting, authorities said.

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Deputy Chief Jorge Villegas said police were also seeking additional information from a person who submitted a specific anonymous tip that could help solidify the case.

Schumann's record includes assault with a deadly weapon, battery, narcotics violations and forgery. Ibarra's record includes forgery, battery on a police officer, resisting arrest and identity theft.

Rodriguez's family said he had no gang affiliation and that his life centered on soccer. Days before the shooting, Rodriguez came back home from a soccer tournament in Hawaii where he had spent a week and a half.

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The murder weapon has not yet been recovered, Villegas said.

Police declined to reveal whether Rodriguez knew either suspect.

Authorities would only say there was a "significant relationship" between Schumann and Ibarra and the two are believed to be the only ones involved in the slaying.

Based on reporting by The Associated Press.

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