Anti-violence activist slain outside daughter's basketball game
Demian Bulwa, Chronicle Staff Writer
Monday, January 14, 2008
(01-14) 04:00 PST San Francisco - -- Police are searching for two gunmen who shot and killed an anti-violence activist Saturday night outside the packed San Francisco gymnasium where he had been watching and rooting for his daughter, a star player on the nation's top-ranked high school basketball team.
Terrell "Terray" Rogers, whose daughter is a top-rated junior guard for Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory, had walked across the street from the school during halftime when he was attacked in a parking lot in the Cathedral Hill neighborhood, police said.
Investigators have made no arrests in the slaying of the 39-year-old father of two from Pacifica, while those who knew Rogers are struggling to understand why he was apparently targeted. Rogers, they said, grew up in a tough part of San Francisco and got into some trouble, but later dedicated himself to helping young people.
Rogers had been watching his daughter, Tierra, a highly recruited guard for a two-time defending state champion team. The gymnasium on Ellis Street was packed for a game against Archbishop Mitty High School of San Jose. As usual, the gregarious Rogers had been cheering loudly.
"You can't fathom the viciousness and senselessness of this entire situation," said Sue Phillips, Mitty's head coach, who also coached Tierra Rogers on a San Jose club basketball team. "Terray was a good soul, and this planet was much better with him on it. It's just sickening."
At 8:20 p.m., during halftime of the game, Terrell Rogers and another man left the gymnasium and walked across Ellis Street, between Gough and Franklin streets, police said. Two men approached Rogers near a small church parking lot. Both opened fire, striking him multiple times before they fled on foot, said Sgt. Steve Mannina, a department spokesman.
Rogers was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics. The unidentified man with Rogers was not hurt, and no arrests have been made, Mannina said.
At least five gunshots were heard on the street, but the sound didn't penetrate the gymnasium, according to witnesses. The contest resumed, but Rogers' daughter was quietly pulled out of the game during the third quarter. Phillips said the teenager was taken to an office near the gymnasium and told that her father had been shot.
Also, 1 victim is in critical condition after a hit and run on the great highway Friday night, and 1 more person was injured in a shooting at 24th and Bryant Streets, in the Mission, Saturday morning.