SAN DIEGO (CBS 8/CNS) - An arraignment in scheduled Monday afternoon for the San Carlos man accused of killing his girlfriend in front of her son last week.
Roderick Lamar Harris, 32, was released from medical care and booked into county jail Thursday. Harris will face a murder charge in connection with the shooting death of 29-year-old Vanessa Bobo.
Early Wednesday, October 12 neighbors reported hearing an argument and gunfire from within the couple's apartment in the 6400 block of Lake Arrowhead Drive.
Patrol officers found the mortally wounded Bobo inside the residence along with her traumatized, but unharmed sons. San Diego police homicide Lt. Manny Del Toro said the boys were present when the shooting occurred, and authorities believed the 5-year-old had witnessed his mother being killed. Bobo died at the scene from gunshots to her upper body.
Witnesses reported seeing Harris speed off in a blue Nissan Altima with dealer plates, which he later ditched, Del Toro reported. Harris remained at large for nearly 12 hours before being arrested at a relative's home in Chula Vista. The suspect was taken to a hospital to be treated for minor cuts he sustained before officers arrived, police said.
The victim was the mother of the suspect's year-old son and a 5-year-old boy from a prior relationship, according to police.
The fact that the victim's sons were present at their mother's violent death "definitely pulled on the heartstrings of the officers involved," Del Toro told reporters during a briefing Wednesday afternoon.
"There was a lot of motivation to bring this person to justice, because of the ... potential harm (he might cause) and the harm that was already done, especially to the 5-year-old, who, we believe, witnessed his mother being killed in his presence,'' the lieutenant continued.
According to family members, Bobo was a Little Rock, Arkansas native and attended Cal State Los Angeles on a track and field scholarship. She is survived by her parents, Brady and Maria Bobo, sisters Latoiya Robinson, Brandi Baker and Beverly Pridgen Howard, and sons Bruce Tone III and Brady Gatlin Harris, according to a GoFundMe page raising money for her children and to help with funeral expenses. Funeral plans have yet to be announced.