Community mourning the loss of merchant

SOUTHWEST PHILADELPHIA – September 21, 2009

"He lived for this community. If you were hungry he fed you. If you were thirsty he made sure you had something to drink," said Marva Cook.

Upon learning of the father of two's death, Berkisu Osamn wept on some nearby steps. She says Rodriguez greeted her every morning with his big smile and quick wit.

"He was so nice and polite to everyone."

Police say the gunman walked in the corner store around 7:00 p.m. went behind the bullet proof Plexiglas and fired one shot hitting Rodriguez in the chest. The gunman then robbed him of roughly $2,000 and fled the area in a vehicle.

"We think he's just opening the store for what we're gathering purchasing product, rent, and other items that he had the money for," said Lt. John Walker.

Friends and relatives gathered at the scene as detectives looked for clues.

Rodriguez's wife witnessed the shooting. She was by his side when he died at a local hospital. She will now be left to care for the couple's 11 and 13-year-old children, while neighbors also cope with the loss.

"He's somebody's father, he's somebody's husband, and the disregard for taking his life like that is just unnecessary completely unnecessary."


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