Palestine community raises funds for city worker who was shot, killed while driving with his family

Local News

PALESTINE, Texas (KETK) – The Palestine community came together to raise funds on April 9, for Dustin Rodgers who was fatally shot three weeks ago with driving with his family in Palestine.

Some of his fellow city co-workers held a barbecue fundraiser. For $10 people were able to receive a sandwich, chips and water.

Even though the event started at 11 a.m., a line had formed an hour earlier. Organizers even received orders the week prior.

“We felt like we needed to come together and we felt as a family, because he was part of our city family,” Patsy Smith, the Parks and Recreation Director said.

Although the organizers did not have a dollar goal in mind, organizers were thinking the Rodgers family might walk away with an amount in the thousands.

“We kind of though maybe over $5,000, but I think we’re going to supersede that,” Smith said.

Rodger’s family also attended including his mother, wife, his youngest son and his sister.

“Dustin would be dancing knowing that he’s got so much love that he didn’t realize he had,” Lisa Rodgers, Dustin’s mother said.

However, his mother is still looking for answers. As of this writing, law enforcement officials have not made an arrest.

“I plead with the community, the surrounding areas, to please help us find who has done this to my son, and these babies’ daddy and Kayla’s husband. Any information is little, big, small, anything is helpful, please,” Lisa said.

Celsey Lively, Rodgers’ sister, told KETK how much she will miss her brother.

“Dustin Rogers was a wonderful and amazing brother, husband, son, a father. He was incredible. He was a man of power and when I say power, he would do anything and everything for anyone, doesn’t matter who you were,” she said.

A GoFundMe account was made for the family who asked for help from the community as they planned Rodgers’ funeral.

“Even though we will never understand how something like this could happen in our hometown, all we can do is come together and help Dustin’s family,” the page said.

As of 7 p.m. Friday, April 9, the GoFundMe has raised more than $12,645.

The incident happened before 9:30 p.m. Saturday night on March 20, and the shooter has still not been formally identified.

28-year-old Rodgers was shot in the torso while he was driving in his car around the area of Spring Street and Magnolia Street in Palestine. His 6-year-old son was also shot in the foot.

Both were taken to the hospital, where Rodgers died and the 6-year-old was treated and released. Rodgers left his wife and three children behind.

Upon arrival at the scene, officers saw a Ford F-150 in the roadway. Inside the vehicle were two adults and two children. They saw Rodgers with an apparent gunshot wound to the torso. His 6-year-old child in the backseat had an apparent gunshot wound to the foot.

The other two passengers in the car, an adult female and a child, were not injured. Palestine PD provided first aid until EMS arrived on the scene.

A witness said that the gunfire came from another vehicle also traveling on Spring Street. Police say the circumstances leading up to the shooting are unknown at this time.

“Detectives are currently working to identify a suspect and determine why this happened.” PPD
Chief Mark Harcrow said. “We are asking that anyone with information on this case contact us
immediately.”

Anyone with any information can contact the Palestine Police Department at (903) 729-2254 or
the Anderson County Crime Stoppers at (903) 729-8477.

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