“It was a complete shock,” said Kanika Rodrique, his wife of 16 years. “He was enjoying life and someone stole that from him. And I’m really upset and angry.”
He was the latest victim in a string of more than two dozen shootings on metro Atlanta roadways this year. He’s believed to be the seventh killed after being shot in a vehicle, according to police reports from metro counties.
Around 1:30 a.m. Monday, officers were called to the Buford Highway Connector near Sidney Marcus Boulevard. There, they found Rodrique suffering from a gunshot wound.
“What the person who did this does not know is that he stole not only his life but all of the love that we were receiving from him,” Kanika Rodrique said.
Her husband, 37, had made mistakes in the past. The California native made headlines when he was the victim of police brutality while in a Sacramento jail in 2017.
But he was dedicated to pursuing a new path. He had moved his family to Virginia in recent years and more recently moved to Georgia with plans of getting a job, finding a home and moving his family again. He had been working a restaurant job here.
“He loved cooking and always wanted to be a chef,” Kanika Rodrique said.
Despite the temporary distance, Mayco Rodrique continued providing for his family while working toward a better life, his wife said.
“He had a big heart,” Kanika Rodrique said. “He was a man who loved to serve.”
Last year was a historically deadly one in Atlanta. Authorities investigated 157 homicides — the most since 1996. This year could be even worse. At 52 homicides so far in 2021, the city’s rate is more than 50 percent higher than this time last year.
In response, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms — who has announced she won’t seek a second term — formed a new committee in hopes someone has ideas for stemming the violence. Members are supposed to submit suggestions within the next 30 to 45 days. The Atlanta Police Department has posted numerous social media posts begging people to quit shooting each other.
“Think before you respond with a gun,” read a message posted Monday, after another deadly weekend left six people shot to death.
Mayco Rodrique had been to a nightclub with a friend just before the shooting that ended his life Monday morning. A homicide investigator has told Kanika Rodrique there aren’t any leads yet in finding the person responsible.
“I’m really looking for justice for him,” she said.
Now, the family must plan a memorial for the man, who considered his grandchildren — ages 2 and 3 — to be his best friends. A GoFundMe page has been created to assist the family with cremation costs.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact Atlanta police or Crime Stoppers Atlanta at 404-577-8477.