The victim's apartment at Ridgeland Ranch Apartments
Jose Ortiz (Source: Ridgeland PD)
RIDGELAND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -
Ridgeland police are investigating the city's first murder of the year.
Early Tuesday morning, Ridgeland police patrolled the Ridgeland Ranch Apartment Complex parking lot. This is where the city's first murder of 2012 happened late Monday night.
Sixty-one year old Jose Ortiz who lived in building 14 was shot inside of his Pontiac. He was returning home from work at Cozumel restaurant in Clinton.
"Our victim was lying in the back seat of that vehicle, he had suffered a gunshot wound to the head and was laying in the backseat with his feet on the ground," said Ridgeland Police Lt. John Neal.
Lt. Neal said Ortiz appears to be the victim of an attempted robbery. However, investigators aren't sure of a motive behind the murder because valuable information remained on Ortiz and in his car.
"He still had his wallet on him, there were some personal items in the car his cell phone and stuff like that were still there," Lt. Neal told WLBT News.
A witness told investigators he heard an argument and then a gunshot and then saw a man run south from the scene.
Lt. Neal said, We're working with the family and his employers to back track from the time he left work until he got home to see if he made any stops along the way, see if anyone followed him home."
Police and Ridgeland Ranch residents told WLBT that serious crime is unusual for the area.
"The apartment complex on County Line Road its known for maybe some minor property crime, loud noise complaints, a domestic disturbance every now and then, but this is very unusual for that area," said Lt. Neal.
Family members say Ortiz leaves behind a wife and seven children. His wife was vacationing in Mexico when Ortiz was killed.
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