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Estranged Boyfriend Allegedly Shoots & Kills Mother Of His Children In Haines City

Haines City Police Department Press Release

HAINES CITY, FL. – Yesterday morning, the Haines City Police Department (HCPD) responded to a fatal shooting near La Fiesta Mexicana Restaurant. The victim, a 29-year-old female, succumbed to her injuries despite emergency medical efforts. A suspect believed to have been involved has been arrested.

 

At approximately 10:55 AM, HCPD received a 911 call reporting a shooting in the parking lot near the restaurant. Multiple calls followed, confirming that someone had been shot. The victim also called 911, describing the suspect as the father of her children; estranged boyfriend of at least 7 years, Rolando Guevara Zarate.

 

Units arrived on the scene at 10:58 AM and found the victim suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. Witnesses provided a description of the suspect’s vehicle, a burgundy Ford Mustang, prompting HCPD to issue a BOLO to surrounding agencies while they began providing first aid to the victim.

 

At 11:18 AM, a Winter Haven Police Department K-9 officer spotted a vehicle matching the description coming into their jurisdiction. With assistance from the Polk County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) Aviation Unit, the vehicle was stopped, but the suspect fled on foot. He was promptly apprehended by Winter Haven police officers. The suspect’s vehicle was seized for evidence, and a rifle was observed inside, for which a search warrant is being obtained.

 

Despite the swift emergency response from both Haines City Police Department, Haines City Fire Department, and hospital staff, the victim was pronounced deceased at approximately 12:03 PM.

 

“This is a tragic and needless loss of life! Our hearts go out to the victim’s family and loved ones,” said Chief Greg Goreck. “I commend the coordinated efforts of our officers and the cooperation with the Winter Haven Police Department and the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, which led to the swift apprehension of a suspect we believe to have carried out these heinous acts.”

 

Detectives are processing multiple scenes, continuing to interview the suspect, and notifying the victim’s family members. Zarate has confessed to the crime, stating that he was concerned the victim was going to take their children from him. He also confessed to disposing of the firearm he used, while driving away from the scene. A weapon matching this description has since been recovered. 

 

Zarate also has a past allegation of domestic battery with the victim along with; possession of cocaine, DUI, possession of methamphetamine, violation of injunction, battery, aggravated battery, and several misdemeanor traffic charges.

 

Rolando Guevara Zarate is being charged with the following offenses:

  • First Degree Murder (Florida Statute 782.04)
  • Aggravated Stalking (Florida Statute 784.048(3))
  • Violation of an injunction for protection against domestic violence (Florida Statute 741.31)
  • Discharging firearm in public (Florida Statute 790.15)
  • Tampering with or fabricating physical evidence (Florida Statute 918.13)
  • Unlawful use of a two-way communications device (Florida Statute 934.215)

 

As part of our investigation, we will be examining the interactions between the suspect and the victim leading up to this fatal incident; to include any calls for service received by this agency, or other agencies. The Haines City Police Department will conduct a comprehensive review of these interactions to ensure that all protocols were followed.

 

The investigation remains ongoing. If you or anyone you know has information about this investigation, contact the Haines City Police Department at (863) 421-3636. For those wishing to provide information anonymously, contact Heartland Crime Stoppers at (888) 400-8477.

 

author avatar
Carl Fish

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