A Wilmington man has been charged in connection with a shooting that occurred Wednesday morning on the grounds of the Delaware Racetrack and Casino.
Ruben Rojas, 30, was arrested by Delaware State Police and subsequently charged with Assault 1st Degree, Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony, and Possession of a Stolen Firearm.
According to a press release from Delaware State Police, the incident occurred at approximately 8:55 a.m. on Wednesday when Rojas arrived at the racetrack area.
He confronted a 38-year-old man from Miramar, Florida, who is a trainer at the track.
The men then allegedly began a verbal altercation. Then, Rojas, who was still seated in his vehicle, took out a handgun and fired one round. The shot hit the victim in the stomach.
Rojas then fled the scene, throwing the gun away into a creek that flows through the Delaware Park property.
Troopers then began to search the area for Rojas' vehicle after receiving a description of it. The tan Nissan Xterra was then found by troopers in the parking lot of Prides Court Apartments in Newark.
Rojas then exited the building as officers arrived on the scene and surrendered to the New Castle County Police Department without incident.
Police are not commenting on a motive, but workers who know the two men involved say that it started over a woman.
Francisco Rodriguez, a Delaware Park Racetrack employee, says he did not hear the shooting this morning at a stable at the Delaware Park Racetrack. He did however, see the alleged gunman, a jockey, and drive off with his girlfriend who also works at the barn not too far behind.
“What did you see and hear? The girlfriend said her boyfriend just finished shooting someone,” Rodriguez explains to FOX 29.
“I just saw him pull over there and say Lorena, Lorena, I just shot somebody, he just left.”
Delaware State Police say it happened just before nine o’clock this morning, confirming a jockey shot a horse trainer.
The suspect was taken into custody a short time later after a state police helicopter spotted his car at the prides court apartments about two miles away.
Investigators say they recovered the weapon in a creek by the racetrack entrance.
“Scary, scary, make everyone come down,” said Max Nolasco, a Delaware Park Racetrack employee.
Workers here say everyone generally gets along. This morning’s shooting left many rattled.
“Everybody feel bad, you know, like I say, why, why, why people have to do that, why do people have to have guns?” Nolasco commented.
Rodriguez added, “people are really quiet –I don’t know. It’s really weird to happen here.”
The victim is currently at Christiana Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.