HOUSTON -- A man accused of killing a young mother in front of her child was targeting women who were home alone, police said.
On Nov. 8 Vanessa Rodriguez, 23, was gunned down in her apartment in the 8500 block of Pitner in the Spring Branch area. Rodriguez was home with her 18-month-old daughter when she was shot. The baby wasn’t harmed.
Houston Police Department homicide detectives had to travel to Donna, Texas in The Valley to find the man they believe is responsible. Neil Mukherjee, 20, has a criminal history and was charged with capital murder.
Police said the surveillance photos led to a tip that led to Mukherjee’s arrest in Donna Texas.
Sgt. Warren Meeler said Mukerhjee targeted women who were home alone with a child in an effort to rob them. He also would seek those who are undocumented thinking they wouldn’t report the crime.
Houston police said Mukherjee used a 45-caliber semi-automatic. Detectives think he sold the weapon before taking off to Donna, Texas where he was eventually arrested.
”We learned he could have possibly sold that pistol to somebody—possibly in the Greenspoint area, and if that person is out there and you know this man and he sold you that gun please bring it forward,” said Sgt. Meeler.
One hour after Mukherjee allegedly shot and killed Rodriguez; police said he tried to rob a woman in North Harris County on Kuykendahl.
He actually fired a shot at her, thankfully she was not hit and survived, police said.
The killing of Rodriguez hit those working the case hard. Police said during the investigation they learned how much she loved her family and how much her family loved her.
”It’s kind of bitter sweet. I’ve never been happier about catching a crook my entire career, but that doesn’t bring her back, but I do have consolation that when I go to sleep at night he is not going to hurt anybody else,” Meeler said.
Anyone with any additional information on Mukherjee is asked to call Crime Stoppers.