Jonathan Carvalho, 20, of East Boston, who grew-up in Chelsea and is well known here, was ordered held without bail and was officially charged with the August 10 homicide of 29-year-old Luis Rodriguez of Chelsea. He was additionally charged with unlawfully carrying a firearm and unlawful possession of ammunition.
He allegedly shot Rodriguez 5 times, according to police reports, including a shot in the victim’s back and to his face.
The homicide on Central Avenue has shocked the community and especially those who knew both Rodriguez and his assailant.
Carvalho’s family is especially well-known in the city and respected.
And so the trouble he finds himself in has caused his family to be heartbroken.
Outside the Chelsea courthouse Monday afternoon a group of about 100 supporters of Rodriguez gathered to tell reporters, police or anyone who would listen that their friend and family member was a good man that doted on his children, went to church and worked hard.
Assistant District Attorney Amy Galatis told the court that, at approximately 12:30 p.m. on the afternoon of the shooting, Carvalho allegedly went to the victim’s Central Avenue home with another individual. That individual knocked on Rodruiguez’s apartment door. When Rodriguez answered, the individual told him that Carvalho was waiting for him outside.
The defendant and the victim had allegedly had a prior dispute in the weeks before the shooting.
That dispute apparently centered around a woman and the homicide itself was preceded by an alleged altercvation between the dead man and his assailant.
Galatis told the court, Carvalho was observed by witnesses “pacing and agitated” in the apartment building parking lot.
When Rodriguez went outside, Galatis said, he and Carvalho circled each other briefly before Carvalho removed a 9mm handgun from his waist area and fired on Rodriguez.
As Rodriguez turned and ran back into the building, the Carvalho allegedly followed him, arm outstretched, before firing two more shots.
“One of those shots hit Rodriguez in the back, piercing his lung,” Galatis said.
The victim stumbled into the building and was able to make it upstairs before collapsing inside of his girlfriend’s apartment.
Rodriguez was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.
The defendant fled the scene and, later, the state.
Investigators received several tips from the community here in Eastie and neighboring Chelsea where the murder took place that Carvalho might be fleeing south to relatives in Florida.
Police obtained a warrant for his arrest on the night of August 10 and were able to track him to a bus headed to Florida.
They missed him in Washington D.C. but with the assistance of U.S. Marshals, Chelsea Police and State Police assigned to Suffolk County District Attorney Dan Conley’s office arrested Carvalho in Savannah, Georgia, on August 12—just 36 hours after the murder.
Investigators credited the community for their key role in the capture of Carvalho.
Chelsea Police Captain Keith Houghton told reporters that his office was flooded with calls that all had relevant information.
“We’ve made great strides in working in partnership with community groups. In years past, it’s been like pulling teeth to get citizens and community members to work with us . . . People don’t want to get involved or are afraid, but people have really stepped up,’ he said.
Carvalho is represented by attorney John Hayes.
He is expected to return to court on September 17.
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