Gainesville Police do not expect to charge a Santa Fe College student who shot and killed his roommate Monday night. The shooter told officers he was defending himself.
Jude Rizzo, 21, killed Michael Crace, 20, at about 11:40 p.m. at the end of the stairs in their apartment at Mill Run Condominiums, located off Southwest 20th Avenue. Before Rizzo started firing his .38-caliber revolver, Crace aimed his own pistol and threatened to kill him, Rizzo told detectives.
Rizzo shot Crace three times, hitting his roommate’s chest and neck. Then, Rizzo called police.
Crace and Rizzo met about four months ago. They were dating women who also happened to be roommates. The two argued about property Monday, although GPD Detective Benjamin Smith would not elaborate.
Crace, Rizzo and Rizzo’s 19-year-old brother, Joel, were living together in Apartment B at 2225 SW 39th Drive. Neighbors said they barely knew the three men and that they moved in recently — Joel, who is also a Santa Fe student, filled out a change of address certificate for the Alachua County Court March 8.
GPD brought the Rizzo brothers into the Criminal Investigations Division for questioning after the shooting, and they were released Tuesday morning. Jude was not charged, and there were no other witnesses at the scene.
“We’re looking at it as a self-defense case,” Smith said.
Before making a final decision about whether Jude will be charged, GPD will wait for forensic evidence to come back. Such evidence could show from where the bullets were shot and from what angle, among other things.
According to his Facebook, Crace had worked at Moe’s Southwest Grill since August. He also worked as a production technician for UF Performing Arts from 2008 to 2010.
Friends and family typed messages on Crace’s Facebook wall Tuesday, many sharing memories of growing up with him. Kimberly Rachael Barry, who is listed as a sister on Crace’s Facebook page, wrote she wanted to talk to him again: “ ... all the times I thought about texting you, I wish I really did.”
Matthew Trenary, another Facebook friend, expressed doubt about the official version of Monday night’s events, pointing out that all the details are coming from Jude and Joel.
Crace’s criminal history in Alachua County is limited to a sworn complaint for marijuana possession in February.
Neither Joel nor Jude returned calls from the Alligator seeking comment Tuesday night.
Contact Tyler Jett at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Crace, 20, was killed around 11:40 p.m. Monday night by his roommate Jude Rizzo, 21.