Jersey City Shooting Victim Had Wanted to Return Back to Ecuador Someday, Says Family

A New Jersey man who died during Tuesday's Jersey City shooting had planned to return to Ecuador someday, according to his family.

Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, 49, died saving a customer at the grocery shop where he worked during the shooting in which six people were killed, including the two shooting suspects.

Rabbi David Niederman, the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg's executive director told The New York Post that Rodriguez had opened the back door of the store to let the customer escape. "Unfortunately, he died at the footstep of that door," Niederman said of Rodriguez.

Miguel Rodriguez had reportedly been working at the grocery store for about a year when he was killed.

William Alejandro Rodriguez, the victim's brother, told NJ.com that his brother intended to return to his home country of Ecuador in a matter of years. "His plan was to be in the United States to give his family security and then eventually return to his country," he said. "I think he always hoped to return in two or three years."

William said that his brother came to the United States "looking for better opportunities for his household and family."

A GoFundMe page was started to assist his wife and 11-year-old daughter. The page described Rodriguez as "a devoted husband, friend, and father" and a "God-loving, honest and hard-working person was who [sic] available to help others."

A memorial for Rodriguez is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday at Michigan Memorial funeral home in Paterson, NJ.com reported. Rodriguez's family intend to bury him in Guayaquil, Ecuador, his hometown.

William also spoke highly of his brother. "He was always a person that liked to share and liked friendship," he told NJ.com. "He loved his family very much. He was an exemplary father."

William recalled the moment when he spoke with Miguel for the final time. "The last conversation he said to take care of my mom," he said. "Take care of our siblings. And for us to always stay united and a family. He wanted us to always be together and support each other."

In addition to Rodriguez, three other victims were killed that day: Moshe Deutsch, Leah Mindel Ferencz, and police detective Joseph Seals. The shooting suspects, David Anderson and Francine Graham, were killed by authorities, the Post reported.

As Newsweek previously reported, New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal said during a Thursday press conference that the Jersey City shooting was being investigated as an act of domestic terrorism. "The evidence points towards acts of hate. I can confirm that we're investigating this matter as potential acts of domestic terrorism, fueled both by anti-Semitism and anti-law-enforcement beliefs," Grewal said.

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Recovery and clean up crews work the scene in the aftermath of a mass shooting at the JC Kosher Supermarket on December 11, 2019 in Jersey City, New Jersey Rick Loomis/Getty
Jersey City Shooting Victim Had Wanted to Return Back to Ecuador Someday, Says Family | News