BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Police have made a second arrest in the killing of a mother inside of her corner store in east Baltimore. The gunman opened fire on Carmen Rodriguez in front of her children three days before Christmas.

Carmen Rodriguez

“He’s an animal. He did it in front of my kids,” the victim’s husband, Derrick Galan, told WJZ shortly after the killing.

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It happened at Fayette and Kenwood. Police announced the latest arrest Thursday but provided few details.

“It was good detective work, community support and tireless, relentless effort,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said.

Court records show police charged 39-year-old Martin Brooks of Baltimore County with having a loaded weapon in his car on Valentine’s Day. Less than a week later, police charged him with Rodriguez’s murder and nine other criminal counts.

Brooks has a lengthy criminal record that includes a murder charge in 2001 that was later nol prossed. He was also found guilty of armed robbery and another handgun crime in Baltimore County in 2005.

Martin Brooks

Baltimore police booking photo of Martin Brooks over his criminal record

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In January, police arrested and charged Terrance Peterson in the killing. Peterson turned himself in.

Terrance Petersen

Surveillance video shows one man casing the store, going inside. About a minute later, another man with a gun shows up and points it at Rodriguez.


Image of the gunman from surveillance video.

Maxine Poo is a friend of the victim who said she was in the store moments before Rodriguez was killed. “He needs to rot in hell,” she told WJZ Investigator Mike Hellgren about the suspect.

After finding out about the latest arrest, Carrie Hubbard put flowers outside the store in memory of Rodriguez. She remembers her as “sweet and always kind” and called her a “touchstone” for the neighborhood.

Hubbard worries about the victim’s children.

“They will quite literally never be the same. Losing your mother is one thing, but witnessing it is a completely different thing,“ Hubbard said.

Shenee Jones looked at the sidewalk where the victim’s name is painted in a makeshift memorial. A frequent customer, she will never forget Rodriguez’s welcoming spirit.

“The next generation will never get to see her friendly face or even know who she was, but it is a relief that she will get some justice and can rest In peace,“ Jones said.

Memorials to Carmen Rodriguez outside of the store where she was killed

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The store recently re-opened under new management.