15-year-old arrested in death at DeSoto County Fair: ‘What’s wrong with the world today?’

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A 15-year-old boy has been arrested and is being charged with the shooting death of another teen at the DeSoto County Fair.

Ryan Watson Jr. is accused of killing Daniel Rodriguez-Lopez, 17, during a shooting on Saturday, according to the Arcadia Police Department.

The arrest comes one day after Rodriguez-Lopez’s mom asked for justice.

“Personally, I wish it came sooner,” said Arcadia Police Lieutenant Troy Carillo.

Arcadia police and a SAWT team from the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office searched Watson’s home on Rhode Island Street Wednesday morning. They didn’t find Watson there.

Danny Lopez. (Credit: Stephanie Castro)

“In executing the search warrant, his mother showed up and pointed us in the direction he was at,” said Carillo. “He was at his uncle’s house.”

All Carillo would say about a possible motive is that Watson Jr. and Rodriguez-Lopez were familiar with one another and got into a fight at the DeSoto County Fair.

Daniel died of a gunshot to the chest. Then the search for the shooter started—a painstaking process.

“You can imagine a county fair, the hundreds of people that are there, especially in a small community like that or like this. When we have the fair come into town, that’s the biggest thing going on. So everybody likes to attend and so on and so forth. And with all the witnesses that were there, we just started interviewing and interviewing and interviewing,” Carillo said.

Watson Jr. faces murder charges, but that doesn’t erase the pain of losing a loved one

“My son will truly be missed by me and my community,” said Stephanie Castro, Rodriguez-Lopez’s mom.

Watson Jr. is charged as a juvenile, but that can change.

Carillo said detectives do not know where he got the gun. Whoever owns the weapon could also face charges.

The DeSoto County Fair is back in business, and it’s usually a fun family event, but that was not the case Saturday night.

“My entire family was there, so it literally scared the snot right out of me,” said Jessica Johann, Watson’s neighbor.

Johann was scared because she heard about the crowds running and people screaming.

“I just hate anybody got shot. Killed,” said Bonnie Johann, Watson’s neighbor.

WINK News tried to talk to Watson’s family to get their side of the story. They said they were too emotional to talk.

Now, neighbors hope the community can recover together. “It’s just I don’t understand why people are like that. It’s so scary. It really is. I mean, what is wrong with the world today? It’s getting worse. It’s not getting better.”

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