This story is part of a collaborative project between Project: Cold Case and a University of North Florida Journalism class.
Rolando Guajardo had a passion for singing. You could always catch him belting out oldies classics.
He also loved to eat. For him, no meal was complete without cheese on top.
Rolando’s life was cut short at age 18 when he was shot and killed in December 1994 at the Vista Azul apartment complex in Dallas, Texas.
Rolando’s murderer was never found, and it haunts his family to this day.
Rolando was forgiving, kind-hearted, and humble. “He was one of a kind. He would have been a very good father,” said Neomi Flores, who was with him the night he died and pregnant with his first child.
One of the most important things in life to Rolando was his family. He had grown up in a very loving family and was known as a mama’s boy.
When he found out he was going to be a father, he was thrilled. He sat down with Neomi, telling her, “We’re going to raise them to be good people.”
Being a good person was always a priority for Rolando. He forgave anyone who was unkind to him; life was more important than holding a grudge.
He was a big jokester and he loved making people laugh. Everyone liked him. Rolando would have done almost anything to make someone laugh. He enjoyed making people happy.
Ask anyone that knew Rolando to describe him, and they would all point to his car. The Pontiac Trans Am was his passion project. He always wanted to fix it up to meet his high standards. But that project never came to fruition.
On December 4, 1994, Rolando was talking to his girlfriend in the breezeway of their friend’s apartment when strangers approached them with a gun. The strangers reeked of alcohol and drugs as they questioned Rolando, who ignored them; he wanted no trouble.
Even though he tried to avoid the confrontation, Rolando was shot, and Neomi was forced to seek safety.
The Longview News-Journal featured a story about Rolando and another teenager who was shot and killed on the same night. The journal quoted Detective Carolyn Hovey as saying, “There is absolutely no reason for these murders. They are totally senseless.”
Neomi Flores was only 15 years old when she saw her boyfriend shot to death. The stress and heartbreak of going through such an event caused her to have multiple health issues during her pregnancy. She spent most of her pregnancy in the hospital or undergoing medical care until the birth of her daughter, Abigail.
Abigail, who is in her 20s now, is said to be the spitting image of her father.
One day Abigail walked into the living room listening to music. Neomi asked her where she found the song – it was one of Rolando’s favorites. Abigail told her mother that she loved the oldies, especially that song.
Abigail carries on Rolando’s legacy every day that she shares her kindness and her love of oldies with the world.
Neomi today creates TikTok videos about her life to inspire and assist other people that may have experienced similar circumstances in their lives.
If you have any information on the unsolved murder of Rolando Guajardo, please contact the Dallas Police Department’s Homicide Unit at (214) 671-3661. To remain anonymous and possibly receive a reward, call North Texas Crime Stoppers at (877) 373-TIPS (8477).
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