HOLYOKE — What’s clear from court documents on the death of Aribertic Rodriguez is that the 20-year-old went to a Jackson Street used car dealership Tuesday to buy a vehicle.
But what isn’t clear is how or why the transaction ended in a violent confrontation, with an employee at Dock’s Classics — Paul F. Paradzinski, 67 — allegedly shooting and killing Rodriguez after an argument broke out and the younger man allegedly punched him in the face. Witnesses said Rodriguez was shot as he ran away.
Paradzinski, who lived in an apartment at 143 Oak St. in Holyoke, pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder Friday morning. He was arraigned at Baystate Medical Center, where he was taken by ambulance after his arrest.
Rodriguez, of Holyoke, was found shot Tuesday at about 1:46 in the area of 310 Clemente St. He had a wound near the rear of his left bicep and was pronounced dead at Baystate Medical Center, according to court documents.
According to a police report, investigators obtained and viewed surveillance footage of a confrontation inside the doorway at the 31 Jackson St. dealership that shows two men running away. Video from a different camera shows Rodriguez running north on Clemente Street, where he “collapses to the pavement and never gets up,” the report says.
Paul Paradzinski charged with murder in fatal Holyoke shooting; victim identified as Aribertic Rodriguez
Investigators believe the suspect and victim had an “interaction” at a nearby used car business prior to the shooting.
Witnesses told police Rodriguez and three others went to the dealership to buy a car — and that Rodriguez and another male got into an argument with Paradzinski. The report does not say what the argument was about.
One witness said “Aribertic punched the older male when he made a gesture to his waist,” and that the older man then took out a gun and fired more than one shot as Aribertic ran away. Another witness said “the older male made a jerk towards his front and Aribertic got nervous, punched the older male and ran away.” That witness also said Rodriguez was shot as he ran from the dealership.
Police found Paradzinski at the dealership with what they called a “substantial injury” to his face, with “blood coming from his mouth and swelling to his cheek," the report says. He handed over a semiautomatic .45 caliber pistol; he had a valid license to carry the gun, the report says.
Paradzinski told police he was “hit in the face, pushed, wanted them to leave and defended himself," according to the report.
He was taken to the Holyoke Police Department, but then taken by ambulance to Baystate Medical Center. In addition to the injury to his face, officials said earlier this week that Paradzinski suffered a “cardiac event” following his arrest.
Paradzinski remains in police custody at the hospital.