Terrell Rogers' murder being investigated

January 14, 2008 8:35:25 PM PST
Those are precisely the kind of questions police investigators are trying to answer. As one police source told ABC7 News, the mayor and police chief want those answers now.

But one thing appears to be clear: investigators believe he was targeted.

Saturday night, Terrell Rogers left his daughter's basketball game at halftime, and as he walked across the street, was gunned down by two men. Now police are investigating whether his work as a peacekeeper, or perhaps something from his past led to his murder.

39-year-old Terrell Rogers was shot to death Saturday night outside the packed Sacred Heart gymnasium.

His daughter Tierra was a star player on the basketball team, ranked number one in the nation.

Rogers was shot by two gunmen as he and a close friend walked to his car in a nearby parking lot during half time. His friend was not hurt.

Among questions police want answered: why did Rogers go to his car? Was he lured there by someone and of course the motive.

One possibility Rogers founded Peacekeepers, a group dedicated to helping youngsters stay out of trouble.

He worked primarily in Hunters Point, at the Alice Griffith Housing Development. His office was marked with just one word "peace."

Shawn Richard also works with troubled youngsters through his group "Brothers Against Guns."

Richard knew Rogers well, even occasionally worked with him. He says being a peacemaker is dangerous work.

"Some of these kids that don't want to change. Some of these kids do want to get out, and you're protecting those kids that do want to get out and the ones who don't want to get. You're just protecting them from that person. So its a dangerous job," said Richard.

A police source tells ABC7, when Rogers was younger, he was involved with a street gang called "Three the hard way."

Their turf was Third Street just off Highway 101, where they reportedly sold drugs to passing motorists.

Years ago, Rogers had been arrested numerous times for not only drug sales but on weapons charges. Another possible motive could be a long simmering dispute from his past.

Mayor Gavin Newsom says finding the shooters is a top priority before the violence escalates. He spoke with community leaders on Monday morning.

"There's a great sense of loss and frustration and as well, candidly speaking, fear in terms of retaliation and that's my biggest focus right now," said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

Rogers was a union painter when he wasn't involved with Peacekeepers.

The police source says Rogers was also involved in scalping baseball tickets at Pacific Bell Park.

Investigators wonder if that had anything to do with his murder.

Many of those same questions haunted his daughter's fellow students at Sacred Heart Preparatory today.

The principal said counselors and teachers were helping them cope.

"Its best to talk to students in smaller groups in a classroom setting so in first period, teachers were going through the situation with our students," said Sacred Heart Prep. President John Scudders.

Police have made no arrests and they're not saying if they have leads, only that they have a lot of questions.

Click here to read Carolyn Tyler's report on the family's reaction to Terrell Rogers' murder.