October 19, 2021
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Cotati’s first homicide in 24 years

By: Irene Hilsendager
July 27, 2019

On July 26, at 6:38 p.m. Cotati police officers were dispatched to Robin Ave. in south-east Cotati for a report of a shooting. Upon arrival officers discovered a gunshot victim lying in the garage of the Robin Ave. home. Cotati police officers immediately performed life saving measures. The victim was transported to Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The victim Patrick Leonard was 67 years old. His family has been notified by the coroner's office. 

So far, the investigation has revealed that there has been an ongoing quarrel between Leonard and Rossi (the suspect) who have been neighbors on Robin Ave. for several years. A heated argument outside of the victim and suspect homes took place before the shooting. 

Cotati police have identified the suspect as Rossi who was still at the scene when officers arrived. Rossi is in custody for the shooting. Healdsburg and Sonoma State University police officers are assisting Cotati officers in this investigation. Rohnert Park Public Safety Officers processed the crime scene. A handgun was recovered at Rossi's home and is believed to be the weapon used; however, it will need to be laboratory tested to confirm it is the firearm involved. Investigators are working diligently to gather evidence, interview witnesses and prepare a criminal case for the District Attorney's Office. 

A homicide has not occurred in the City of Cotati since 1995. 

This investigation is preliminary and ongoing. 

SUSPECT: Arrested; Joseph Rossi 68 years old was booked into the Sonoma County Jail for PC 187 Homicide

This case is still under investigation. Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Corporal Brian Deaton at the Cotati Police Department by calling (707) 792-4611.