Photo Shows Area Family Posing With Guns
By Jeff Goldblatt, FOX Chicago News
Calumet City - The old saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words."
But police in Calumet City said they didn't know what, at first, to make of a photo showing a local family posing with an arsenal of weapons, with a nine-year-old front and center.
"Initially, when we got this picture, we had no idea where it was taken, it could have been anywhere," said Calumet City police chief Edward Gilmore. Then again, he acknowledged his department was well acquainted with the mother and her five sons pictured in the photo, holding what appears to be 10 weapons among them.
According to chief Gilmore, they all have arrest records, except for the boy, seen in the middle, holding in one hand, what police call a semi-automatic pistol, and in the other hand, some kind of foreign-made semi-automatic rifle, that's clearly bigger than his slight frame.
Chief Gilmore said the photo "absolutely" concerns him, especially "the amount of weapons they are having. The amount of firepower they have in their hands. And the fact that a nine-year-old is getting involved in this type of lifestyle. And that it seems to be sanctioned by a parent.
Police said they've connected one of the brothers in the photo, Jarrod Rodriguez, to a double murder last may outside La Risto II, a Calumet City nightclub. Jarrod Rodriquez now faces a charge of mob action connected to the incident. Another brother - not seen in the photo now under police scrutiny - Jeremy Rodriguez faces a first degree murder charge and is now in custody awaiting trial.
Shortly after the double murder, police said a concerned citizen brought them the photo at the center of this story.
But chief Gilmore said he couldn't move on it until he could verify the weapons were real.
"Much like you go to the Wisconsin Dells and you take one of these pictures where they stage you in wild west attire, this could have been the same thing," he said.
Gilmore said the stakes changed after a man was found shot to death on the family's front lawn on Jan. 30.
That day police got a search warrant.
They said no one from the family was home. But that they seized three guns, which they believe match weapons seen in the "family photo.
They said the guns were found in the room of Jarrod Rodriguez, whom they charged with having a firearm without a license.
The family has not been charged with the man's murder, but police said they're investigating the weapons seized and whether there's a connection to the victim.
Neighbors - too scared to show their faces - said they've had enough of the family.
"I want them out of the neighborhood...it's scary that a family like that exists on this block or anywhere," said one man.
Meantime, a customer at a nearby hair salon called the picture "a tragedy to society...I believe that a parent has to be responsible for the activities of their children."
Calumet City police said they informed the Department of Children and Family Services about the picture - and that DCFSs is investigating.
Meantime, FOX Chicago News placed a phone call Tuesday afternoon to an attorney representing the mother of this family, but did not hear back from him
Well, theres a sack full of ghetto fabulousness!