Court Documents Detail What Led Up to Shooting Death of Waterbury Club Owner

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Ramon Rodriguez faced a judge Monday on multiple charges including murder, breach of peace and tampering with evidence, in connection with the shooting death of club owner Dennis Santos late Saturday night.

“This is a big loss, big loss for his family and friends,” said Harvey Brar, who has a business next door to Santos’ Salsa Tropical Social Club.

Court documents show Rodriguez was upset over seeing a former girlfriend with another man at the club. A fight between the two men spilled out into the parking lot.

Rodriguez left the scene with his current girlfriend and then the pair returned, according to officials.

According to the reports, that’s when Santos tried to get Rodriguez to leave, but Rodriguez allegedly began shouting and firing a weapon at the crowd outside. Santos was shot and taken by a private vehicle to the hospital where he died, the documents state.

Mayor Neil O’Leary spoke about the incident on Monday.

“The owner tried to console the individual [who] pulled out a gun and shot him - there’s no easy way to say it - and killed him,” O’Leary said.

Court documents show Rodriguez and the woman were charged with breach of peace. Bond for Rodriguez was set at $10,000.

Bond for the murder charge was set at $2 million, and that case will be transferred over to "Part A" Court for more serious crimes.

Santos’ death was just one of two shooting deaths involving Waterbury store owners this weekend. Early Saturday morning, Michael Anderson, the owner of Mikey’s Jamaican Restaurant, got into an argument with Sebastian Olavarria. Police say Anderson shot and killed Olavarria.

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O’Leary added that the argument stemmed over parking.

“Both of these homicides were emotional,” O’Leary said.

The mayor said they’ll continue working against gun violence in the city and he says he’ll keep pushing for more help at the federal and local levels with stricter gun laws and penalties.

“It’s awful and it’s happening not only in Waterbury, but it’s happening everywhere,” O’Leary said. “The amount of violence, especially gun violence is absolutely mind boggling.”

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