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Published: Monday, 9/16/2002

Toledoan slain after quarrel with 2 men

Rodgers: had 3 children. Rodgers: had 3 children.
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A 44-year-old Toledo man was fatally shot outside a central-city bar yesterday after an quarrel with two men, police said.

Roy Orlando Rodgers of 1650 Milburn Ave. was pronounced dead at the scene. It was the city's 19th homicide of the year. Toledo had 20 homicides all of last year.

Toledo police said Rodgers was in a brief argument with two men inside the B&J Caf , 574 Tecumseh St., before leaving the bar about 1 a.m. and walking to his car that was parked across the street.

The two men followed Rodgers outside, police said. After he entered his car, one of the men fired multiple shots into his vehicle. Rodgers was hit in the chest and shoulder, according to police.

An autopsy is scheduled for today.

Rodgers' wife, Lesli, said she last saw her husband about 9:30 p.m., when he told her he was going out of the evening.

“He kissed me before he left the way he always did,” Mrs. Rodgers said. “[B&J Caf ] is a bar that he's been to many times before.

“When his friend came here and told me what happened, I thought he was playing a joke. I didn't take it seriously until we drove up and I saw his car,” she said.

Before he left home Saturday, Mrs. Rodgers said they watched a movie together and he later took his 3-year-old son, Sooleh, out to play.

“He talked to my [oldest] son, who's in the Navy,” Mrs. Rodgers said. “When he left to go out was the last time I saw him. It's still so hard to believe.”

She said her husband was a 1977 graduate of Scott High School. Rodgers started a lawn-care business, called Sooleh Lawn Care Service, about three years ago.

“He called himself a lawn manicurist,” Mrs. Rodgers said. “And that's really what he was. He was very good at it and had several good clients. He wanted to do more with social work, and he was planning to that. He was a very determined person and willing to do what it takes to help his family.”

The couple also have a 5-year-old daughter, Eliagene, and a 20-year-old son, Charles.

Mrs. Rodgers' sister, Brona Reynolds, who was with her at her Milburn home yesterday afternoon, said her brother-in-law had a way of helping people and getting them to open up to him.

“A lot of times, he would counsel me about things,” Ms. Reynolds said. “He was always helpful in that way. This crime was so senseless. This has been a great shock to all of us.”



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