Terrell “Terray” Rogers, a beloved diplomat of the streets, was known for solving problems in a community where gun violence claims more lives than any other place in The City.
Mourners on Tuesday from Bayview-Hunters Point to Pacific Heights wondered how the life of someone who crusaded for peace could come to such a violent end.
Rogers was outside Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory on Jan. 12 taking a break from his daughter’s basketball game when two men rushed up to him and a friend, according to police. The suspects, described as men wearing hoods, killed Rogers instantly. His companion was unharmed, leading investigators to believe Rogers was targeted by someone he knew.
Rogers’ daughter, Tierra, a junior on Sacred Heart’s No. 1-ranked team, was in the middle of a game when she found out.
At Tuesday’s funeral, she said her father wanted nothing more than for her to go to college and stick with basketball.
“Remember Saturday night, when you told me to play my game, play hard and don’t hurt myself?” Tierra Rogers said to the crowd. “I said, ‘OK, OK, Dad, I love you,’ and he replied, ‘I love you, too.’”
Rogers headed an outreach program called Peacekeepers, where troubled youths could find alternatives, such as sports, to hanging out on the streets. Rogers’ father, Adam Rogers, also a community activist, was murdered on New Year’s Day of 1977.
Before Rogers died, he was considering a move to Texas, where his mother lives, according to his cousin, Sean Robinson, who had his own nickname for the man.
“Terry was always telling me he couldn’t survive another 10 years out here,” he said. “Terry knew what his eventual fate would be in this city, but he still kept his head on straight and did what he thought was right. His right was fixing everybody’s wrongs.”
Rogers was one of seven people killed in less than two weeks between Dec. 31 and Jan. 13, though The City hasn’t recorded any homicides since. In 2007, San Francisco reported a 10-year high of 98 homicides.
A police investigation into Rogers’ killing continues and there have been no arrests, according to Sgt. Steve Mannina.