Ecuadorian killed in U.S. mass murder hoped to provide a better life for his family

Dec 14, 2019 | 2 comments

For Douglas Miguel Rodriguez, working at a kosher market in Jersey City was a blessing. He had left Ecuador to provide for his family and things were looking up.

Douglas Miguel Rodriguez

Rodriguez, known to his family and friends as Miguel, was a commercial engineer in his native Ecuador. He moved to the United States about four years ago after he was laid off from his job at an insurance company and he couldn’t find another job, hoping to build a better life for his wife and young daughter.

“My brother was an extraordinary man, kind, hardworking and always willing to serve others,” his sister Ketty Rodriguez said.

While he was not Jewish, Rodriguez was a very Christian man who admired those who were faithful no matter their religion or beliefs, his sister said.

Some of his friends, who are Jewish, recommended him for the job at the store.

Family members in Ecuador and the US started worrying about Rodriguez when he stopped answering their calls and text messages about noon.

When they started seeing the news of the shooting, his wife went to the scene but couldn’t get any information about Rodriguez, his sister said.

It was until several hours into the night that police confirmed Rodriguez’s death to his wife, and she called the rest of the family in Ecuador.

“He was a gentleman, a loving father and husband, a son and a brother,” Ketty Rodriguez said of her brother.

Rodriguez was killed along with Mindy Ferencz, 31, who owned the store along with her husband, and Moshe Deutsch, 24, who was a customer. A 40-year-old Jersey City police detective, Joseph Seals, was killed while attempting to stop the shooters.

Family members in Ecuador and the US started worrying about Rodriguez when he stopped answering their calls and text messages about noon.

When they started seeing the news of the shooting, his wife went to the scene but couldn’t get any information about Rodriguez, his sister said.

It was until several hours into the night that police confirmed Rodriguez’s death to his wife, and she called the rest of the family in Ecuador.

“He was a gentleman, a loving father and husband, a son and a brother,” Ketty Rodriguez said of her brother.

Rodriguez was killed along with Mindy Ferencz, 31, who owned the store along with her husband, and Moshe Deutsch, 24, who was a customer. A 40-year-old Jersey City police detective, Joseph Seals, was killed while attempting to stop the shooters.

Rabbi David Niederman of the Brooklyn-based United Jewish Organization of Williamsburg called Rodriguez a hero.

“After being shot, he (Rodriguez) opened the back door for a customer to be rescued and unfortunately, he died at the footstep of that door,” Niederman told reporters on Thursday.

Authorities have not discussed Rodriguez’s actions and CNN has not independently verified Niederman’s account.

Rodriguez was survived by his wife and an 11-year-old daughter who lived with him in the US as well as his mother, several siblings and extended family in Ecuador, according to his family and the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn.

“He was butchered brutally while working in the store and providing for his family. May he rest in peace,” the UJO said.

His family has decided to repatriate Rodriguez’s remains to his hometown of Guayaquil, the consul general of Ecuador in New Jersey said in a statement.

A funeral for Rodriguez will be held Sunday in New Jersey before the repatriation of his remains, Ecuadorian officials said.

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