Immigrant And Father Douglas Rodríguez Is One Of The Victims Of The Tragic Jersey City Shooting
Douglas (Miguel) Rodríguez had spent the last three years in the United States building a community when he was gunned down by a reported act of domestic terrorism at a Jersey City Jewish deli. Rodríguez was one of three victims of what is believed to have been an anti-Semitic and anti-police shooting by suspects David Anderson and Francine Graham. At one point, David Anderson was a follower of the Black Hebrew Israelite movement, a group that the Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled a Black supremacist group. Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal said that Anderson and Graham started their spree in a cemetery just a mile away from the deli, where they encountered and killed Jersey City Police Detective Joseph Seals. Then, they drove a U-Haul van down to JC Kosher Supermarket, parked across the street, and Anderson was reportedly seen stepping outside the driver’s side with a long gun. Anderson began firing as he entered the market with Graham trailing in his footsteps. For hours, Anderson and police engaged in a shootout that finally ended when police used an armored vehicle to drive into the entrance of the store. Police found several firearms and even a pipe bomb within the suspects’ possession. Both suspects were found dead inside the store
Rodríguez was caught in the crossfires. He had been working at the JC Supermarket for about a year when Anderson and Graham allegedly opened fire.
The family has organized a GoFundMe to raise money for Rodríguez’s funeral and for the family and maintain financial normalcy for young Amy.
The Rodríguez family arrived in the United States from Ecuador just three years ago in search of a better life. Rodríguez’s niece, Vanessa Reyes, says that Rodríguez’s “first goal was to allow his daughter to have a chance of a future through education. He exemplified hard work by continuously working and providing for his family. Regardless of the hours he worked, Miguel seemed to find the time to come together with family. His desire to create a better sense of family for his daughter, Amy, remained his number one objective.” Reyes has organized a GoFundMe to help his wife, Martha, and daughter, Amy, bury Rodríguez in his hometown of Guayaquil, Ecuador, and to help keep them on their feet while they mourn and search for another source of income.
At the time of publication, the family has raised $146,550 in less than a week.
The family was already calling Rodríguez a hero before witnesses came forward to affirm that Rodríguez was a hero to them, too.
“How are you going to go like this uncle?” Rodríguez’s nephew tweeted on the day of his death in Spanish. “You are an icon and un referente in the family … a role model … you do not know the pain and emptiness I feel at the moment … but I will remember you like this with a GREAT SMILE !! As you always were! ; An inseparable kiss and hug over there to heaven. I love you Miguel!”
Several days later, the Rodríguez family met with members of the Jewish community to learn about Miguel’s final moments. “Miguel died after heroically putting the lives of others before his,” Reyes said in a fundraiser update. “For some reason, this does not come as a shock to the family. Miguel has always been the man in the family to selflessly put others before him. Miguel’s life has followed a pattern of selflessness.”
“We will miss Miguel’s laughter and his compassion,” Reyes said, adding that, “Most importantly, we will miss the sense of security he provided for those he loved.”
“Our family has been maintaining a sense of normalcy and comfort through these tough times by being together,” Reyes wrote. “He was a God-loving, honest and hard-working person who was always available to help others,” she added. Alongside Rodríguez, both Mindy Ferencz, 31, and Moshe Deutsch, 24, were killed in the attack. Ferencz and her husband managed the JC Kosher Supermarket. The two other victims were members of the Hasidic Jewish community. City footage shows the shooters driving slowly down the street from the cemetery shooting to the supermarket, passing several pedestrians, offering more evidence that the Kosher market was a target for the attack. Media outlets are reporting anti-police and anti-Jewish sentiments on his social media pages.
We are mitú has not seen the alleged anti-police posts and cannot attest to whether they were violent or simply Black Lives Matter posts. You can donate to Douglas Miguel Rodriguez’s GoFundMe here.