David Rodriguez

David Rodriguez

ROCKDALE — A weary and hot David Rodriguez, a suspect in a fatal stabbing, was arrested without any trouble when he was found by Rockdale Police Lt. Stephen Goodrich.

Rodriguez, 24, of Rockdale — who allegedly stabbed Michael McDowell multiple times Thursday night outside a Rockdale apartment complex — was seen and then arrested as he walked eastbound on U.S. Highway 79 toward Milano.

Goodrich drove past him, turned around and arrested a compliant Rodriguez who was “hot, tired and knew he was caught,” Goodrich said.

A “petty argument” started inside an apartment, escalated and moved outside, where 26-year-old McDowell was allegedly stabbed multiple times by Rodriguez.

Alcohol was involved in the incident, according to Goodrich, and other unverified rumors are under investigation. “You know what it’s like in a small town,” he said.

Although the department is waiting for the autopsy report, Goodrich did say McDowell was stabbed less than five times.

The initial investigation began at 10:25 p.m. Thursday. Rodriguez was identified as a suspect shortly after midnight, and a warrant was signed the next morning.

Goodrich looked for Rodriguez at the homes of relatives, friends and elsewhere. At 11:30 a.m., the Milam County Sheriff’s Office received a call about a man who matched Rodriguez’s description. The man was walking on County Road 335 just outside of Rockdale.

Since Goodrich was closer than the deputies, he responded and located Rodriguez.

Both the victim and suspect were known by Goodrich since they were teenagers, he said.

McDowell worked at several Rockdale restaurants and convenience stores, as did Rodriguez.

Rodriguez’s bond was set at $100,000 for the homicide charge. He remained Tuesday in the Milam County Jail.