Owner of Social Club in Waterbury Shot, Killed

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The owner of a social club in Waterbury was shot and killed late Saturday night and a man has been arrested and charged with murder in connection to the shooting.

Officers were called to the Salsa Tropical Social Club on Watertown Avenue around 11:11 p.m. after getting a report of shots fired.

Investigators said 51-year-old Dennis Santos was shot outside of the club and was transported to Waterbury Hospital before police arrived. Santos later died from his injuries at the hospital.

According to police, Santos is the owner of the Salsa Tropical Social Club.

Authorities determined that a fight happened in the parking lot outside of the club between several people and a suspect, later identified as 44-year-old Ramon Rodriguez, of Waterbury. During the incident, police said Rodriguez fired gunshots at people in the parking lot area and struck Santos. No other victims were found.

After the incident, police said Rodriguez fled the scene, but was found shortly after by officers and was taken into custody. A loaded gun was also found by police, they added.

Rodriguez is facing charges including murder, reckless endangerment, unlawful discharge of a firearm, carrying a pistol without a permit, possession of weapons in a motor vehicle, tampering with evidence, alteration of a firearm identification mark and breach of peace. He is currently being held on a $2 million bond.

The Waterbury Police Department's Major Crime Detectives are actively investigating the shooting. Anyone with information is asked to contact police at (203) 574-6941 or Crime Stoppers at (203) 755-1234.

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