When police responded to a shooting at a Wichita, Kansas home around 12:50 a.m. Tuesday morning, they found a 27-year-old man on the floor with multiple gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The victim, identified in local reports as Matthew Rodriquez, made comments about taking his life before shooting himself once in the head, said investigators. That initial shot “was deemed self-inflicted,” Capt. Jason Stephens of the Wichita Police Department told reporters at a Tuesday press briefing.
What happened next, according to Stephens, was murder.
After Rodriquez fired the first bullet, his roommate, Charles Ian Burnham, 28, “immediately thereafter retrieved the same gun and shot the victim two additional times,” Stephens said. “As a result we have booked Mr. Burnham into the Sedgwick County Jail for one count of first degree murder.”
Stephens would not provide additional details as to why Burnham was arrested on murder charges after Rodriquez had already shot himself, citing an ongoing investigation.
“But,” he said, “one of the elements of first degree murder is premeditation. So that being the case, there was, I can say this, conversation that took place between victim and suspect that led up to the suspect’s involvement in the shooting incident.”
Burnham’s brother, who also lived in the home, was asleep in another room when the shooting occurred and is not accused of any wrongdoing, Stephens said. Burnham was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail shortly after 6 a.m. on Tuesday, according to jail records.
Reached by phone, a relative of the Burnhams said she had nothing to say and asked for privacy.
“We don't have any comment,” Deborah Burnham, 32, told The Daily Beast. “I would like it if you did not contact any of the other family [members].”
Rodriquez’s family was unable to be reached.
No further information about Rodriquez or Burnham has yet been shared by authorities.
There is “no indication at this time” that drugs or alcohol played a role in the incident, said Stephens, who added that he doesn’t “have any information at hand that leads me to believe that we’ve had any problems with any of these individuals” previously.
Burnham is being held on $500,000 bond.