Douglas Miguel Rodríguez, one of the victims of Tuesday's shooting inside a kosher grocery store in Jersey City, New Jersey, is being hailed as a hero. Rodríguez, who worked in the store, helped a customer escape after being shot himself, CBS New York reports.
"After being shot, he opened the back door for a customer to be rescued," said Rabbi David Niederman, the executive director of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg. "Unfortunately, he died at the footstep of that door."
Customer Moshe Deutsch, 24, and shop owner Mindel Ferencz, 31, were also killed inside the store., 40, was killed at a nearby cemetery by the same attackers.
At an emotional vigil for the victims on Thursday night, Rodríguez's wife said through tears that she forgives the attackers and thanked those who employed her husband at that kosher market.
"Especially the Jewish community that learned how to love my husband and was there for him and embraced him," she said.
The 49-year-old Rodríguez immigrated to the United States with his wife and daughter from Ecuador, where he worked as a financial manager for an insurance company, his brother William Rodríguez Barzola told The New York Times. Rodríguez was laid off after the company went under, and moved to New Jersey looking for similar work.
Unable to find white-collar job in the U.S. due to the language barrier, Rodríguez got a job in the kosher market. He worked six days a week, according to Mark Schwartz, a regular customer at the store, The Times reports.
"A good man of principle, of courage," Rodríguez's wife told NJ.com in Spanish. "A… good son, good husband, good father that does nothing to anyone."
Another mourner at Thursday's vigil said Rodríguez was a like a brother to him.
"We love him, we miss him, but we know he will be fine because he believed in Jesus," he said.
Rodríguez's family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral costs and to send his body back to Ecuador to be buried.
"Miguel died after heroically putting the lives of others before his. For some reason, this does not come as a shock to the family," wrote Vanessa Reyes, who organized the page. "Miguel has always been the man in the family to selflessly put others before him."
A memorial service for Rodríguez will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Michigan Memorial in Paterson, New Jersey.