Kwik Shop murder suspect named, killed in MS

By: Channel 8 Eyewitness News

Press Release from Lincoln Police Department

On Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 1:30 a.m., members of the Lincoln Police Department were called to the Kwik Shop, 2940 N. 14th Street, on a reported robbery in progress.  Multiple officers arrived and found the employee, Robert Hanna unresponsive, with gunshot would injuries.  Despite immediate rescue attempts, 51 year-old Robert Hanna died at the scene.

Through witness accounts and review of video surveillance, the person responsible was described as a black male, 5’2" – 5’6", with a medium build, wearing a black short sleeve t-shirt, camouflage pants, a black glove on his right hand and a white cloth covering his head.  Photos and video footage were released to the public and also sent to law enforcement through national distribution networks.

During extensive follow-up into the case, 20 year-old Rodzela J. Jones was identified as a suspect in the homicide.  On July 10, 2016, just days before this information was received, Jones was found murdered in Jonestown, Mississippi.  Without the ability to interview Jones, our investigators diligently tracked other evidence needed to either support or disprove the theory that Jones was involved.  These efforts included analyzing phone records, working with other law enforcement agencies and interviewing individuals with Jones in the days leading up to the homicide.  Evidence obtained supports the belief that Jones was responsible for the homicide.  That evidence includes, but is not limited to:

  • Family members and law enforcement officials identified him in the video surveillance footage,
  • Individuals confirmed he was wearing the same clothing as the suspect on the day of the shooting, and
  • Phone records and interviews with family place him in Lincoln at the time of the shooting

Why Rodzela Jones targeted that convenience store and what led him to fire that handgun remain unknown. This case will be reclassified as cleared by exception; however, any additional information received will be examined.