RIDGE - The Ridge man accused of gunning down his girlfriend execution-style as she tried to flee his condo and then exchanging gunfire with police said he was sorry for his actions today as he was led to court to face charges.
"I do apologize," said a handcuffed Jose Rodriguez III. "I'm sorry for everything I did."
As News 12 has reported, police say Rodriguez fatally shot his girlfriend, 36-year-old Kimberly Sellitto, at his condo complex on Village Drive in Ridge yesterday using a high-powered assault rifle. He then barricaded himself inside his condo with his two young children inside, and allegedly fired six shots at police officers who responded to the scene.
Rodriguez was eventually taken into custody, and News 12 obtained exclusive video of his surrender. His two sons, who were from a previous relationship, were unharmed and are now in the care of their mother.
Rodriguez claimed today that he held his children inside the building until their mother came to get them, so he could be sure they were in her care.
Prosecutors allege that Rodriguez's actions were cold and calculated when he killed Sellitto. "It was an execution," said Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Robert Biancavilla. "She was fleeing, it was from close range, he fired twice, shot her once in the back of the head, and once in the back. There's no doubt what his intent was."
But Rodriguez's sister claims there's more to the story than what's at the surface. She says that her brother is "not a monster," and claims that he was the victim of domestic abuse. She suggested that he had "snapped" or was attacked.
Prosecutors say there was no record of domestic disputes between the two.
Rodriguez has been charged with second-degree murder and the attempted murder of a police officer. He was ordered held without bail.