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Ex-Boyfriend Sought in Woman’s Shooting Death

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Times Staff Writer

Police investigating the shooting death of a Placentia woman were searching Thursday for a former boyfriend who family members said had been stalking the victim.

Richard Joseph Namey, 26, of Tustin is suspected by authorities of killing Sarah Jennifer Rodriguez, 21, of Placentia. She and boyfriend Matthew Reid Corbett, 20, of Westminster were driving near her home in the 1400 block of Hill Street when the shooting occurred about 5:20 p.m. Wednesday.

Family members said Rodriguez was afraid for her life and had obtained a restraining order on April 1 after Namey followed her to work at a Yorba Linda preschool. “I want a restraining order right now because he has already followed me to work this morning,” she pleaded in her petition to the court. “I am afraid he will hurt me again because he had done this way more than one time.”

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Rodriguez was driving with Corbett when Namey cut them off in his car and confronted them in the street, police said. He then started an argument and fired at them before driving away, police said. Rodriguez was pronounced dead at the scene. Corbett was in critical condition Thursday at Western Medical Center-Santa Ana with injuries to the head and spine, officials said.

“This is a textbook example of the danger that the victim is often placed in when she finally makes that final break,” said Placentia police Det. Corinne Loomis. “She becomes a possession that he won’t let go of. It has nothing to do with real love.”

Rodriguez dated Namey for eight months, police said, but they broke up in March because of his violent behavior. On several occasions, she wrote in her request for a restraining order, Namey followed her to work and pushed her, hit her on the head with his hand and grabbed her arm and neck so hard that it left her bruised. He once threw a cigarette lighter at her when they were at the Irvine Spectrum, she wrote.

Rodriguez, one of five children, was a teacher’s assistant at the preschool where her mother works. She wanted to be a teacher or nurse, family members said.

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