A Grand Rapids man charged with killing the teenaged friend of his ex-girlfriend on Tuesday is also accused of killing a 50-year-old woman he once dated.
Vicente Rodriguez Ortiz, 22, was arraigned Thursday on four counts, including open murder, for the shooting death of Andre Lamont Hawkins on Second Street NW near Garfield Avenue. It happened outside the home of a woman Ortiz had dated.
On Friday, Ortiz is set to return to Grand Rapids District Court to face charges in the March 2017 murder of Laurie Lundeberg. Lundeberg, 50, was shot outside her home on Lincoln Avenue near Bridge Street NW.
While being arraigned for Hawkins’ murder, Ortiz asked the judge about “his other murder case,’’ in apparent reference to the Lundeberg investigation.
Grand Rapids police say Lundeberg and Ortiz were once in a dating relationship. He was on probation for assaulting Lundeberg when she was fatally shot. Ortiz was living with his mother on Marion Avenue NW, about two blocks away.
Grand Rapids police arrested Ortiz Wednesday afternoon on Bridge Street near Lane Avenue NW following a brief chase. A police dog helped nab Ortiz, who was treated for a dog bite.
After his arrest, Ortiz made statements implicating himself in the death of Lundeberg, Grand Rapids Police Sgt. Catherine Williams said. He was scrutinized in the Lundeberg homicide by virtue of his arrest for aggravated assault in which Lundeberg was the victim.
It happened at Lundeberg’s home in September 2016, court records show. Investigators say Ortiz attacked Lundeberg and a man she was with. Ortiz pleaded guilty to assault and battery three months later. A judge last January placed him on probation for one year and ordered him to pay $1,225 in fines and costs.
Ortiz was less than two months into his term of probation when Lundeberg was killed. His year of probation ended on Wednesday – the same day of his arrest.
His arrest was just a few blocks from the scene of Tuesday’s 10:30 p.m. shooting, which was the city’s fifth homicide this year.
An 18-year-old woman who had been dating Ortiz said he flew into a rage after she broke off their relationship earlier that day.
She said she was with two friends, including Hawkins, when Ortiz walked up and threatened her with a handgun outside her Second Street home.
“He had the gun pointed at me, making ‘bang’ sounds,’’ said the woman, who asked not to be identified.
She said she and her friends got into a vehicle parked in the driveway. Hawkins was trying to get the keys in the ignition when Ortiz fired three shots, she said.
“He shot at us and ran off,’’ she said. “It was horrible.’’
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