Erica Vivian Rodriguez
Arrested and charged

BELEN—A Belen woman is charged with aggravated assault and child abuse for shooting her son Tuesday night.

Belen and state police responded to a call at about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday to the Court Street Apartments in Belen regarding an argument between a man and a woman. They were also told gunshots had been fired.

When they arrived, they learned Erica Vivian Rodriguez, 34, and her uncle, Joseph Rodriguez had been arguing. During the argument, Erica’s son, Nicklus, 16, attempted to intervene to stop the fight.

“Investigating officers learned that during the fight, Erica Rodriguez pulled a firearm from her waistband and fired one gunshot, which stuck the 16-year-old … in the left buttock area,” BPD Chief Victor Rodriguez wrote in a press release. “… her son, was transported to a hospital for medical treatment.”

The chief said the boy’s injuries weren’t life-threatening and he will recover.

A subsequent search warrant on a vehicle registered to Erica Rodriguez resulted in the seizure of a loaded Smith and Wesson .38 caliber handgun with one spent casing.

Erica Rodriguez was booked into the Valencia County Detention Center in Los Lunas, and is charged with abuse of a child resulting in great bodily harm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and tampering with evidence.

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Clara Garcia is the editor and publisher of the Valencia County News-Bulletin.
She is a native of the city of Belen, beginning her journalism career at the News-Bulletin in 1998 as the crime and courts reporter. During her time at the paper, Clara has won numerous awards for her writing, photography and typography and design both from the National Newspaper Association and the New Mexico Press Association.