17-year-old homicide victim involved in incident found dead a week later
Following a lengthy investigation by the Vermont State Police, arrest warrants have been issued for three suspects in connection with a shooting that occurred Jan. 26, 2022, at a home in Pownal.
Troopers responded at about 9:30 p.m. that day to the area of 1342 U.S. Route 7 in Pownal after to two callers reporting an unknown man knocking on their doors and asking for help. When troopers arrived, they found a man with possible cold-related injuries. Rescue also responded and transported the man to Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington for treatment of those injuries. During the investigation, troopers learned the original callers also heard several gunshots in the area and were concerned the incidents were connected.
Troopers discovered significant damage at the residence at 1342 U.S. Route 7. It was clear, based on the evidence, that a shooting had occurred. Troopers checked the property and were unable to locate anyone. There were no reports of gunshot-wound victims in surrounding area hospitals.
The man who was transported to SVMC for cold-related injuries was interviewed by troopers. He provided a false name and was not cooperative in the investigation. He was later identified as Luis Baez, 38, of Springfield, Massachusetts.
About one week after the shooting in Pownal, the Vermont State Police began investigating a homicide in Danby. The homicide victim, 17-year-old Isaiah Rodriguez, was confirmed to be involved in the Pownal incident.
After a lengthy investigation, the Vermont State Police filed arrest warrants with the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Bennington for:
Luis Baez, 38, of Springfield, Massachusetts.
Odalys Velez Perez, 21, of Springfield, Massachusetts.
Giovanni Torres, 21, of Holyoke, Massachusetts.
Each man was charged with attempted murder for their involvement in the Pownal shooting incident. The arrest warrants were granted by the Honorable Judge McDonald-Cady on March 15, 2023. Twelve individuals were identified as participants in the shooting incident, and additional charges are pending.
Torres turned himself in at the Bennington County criminal court on Tuesday, March 21, 2023. He pleaded not guilty and was ordered held without bail. The whereabouts of Velez, Perez and Baez are unknown at this time.
Anyone with information that could assist investigators in this case is asked to call the Vermont State Police in Shaftsbury at 802-442-5421, or leave an anonymous tip online at http://vsp.vermont.gov/tipsubmit.