Evelyn Rodriguez, the mother of Kayla Cuevas, a teenager brutally murdered by the MS-13 street gang, died when she was hit by a vehicle while planning a memorial for her daughter in Brentwood on Friday, Suffolk County police said.
Rodriguez, who had become an outspoken advocate against gang violence, was fatally struck by a driver during a confrontation just before a candlelight vigil scheduled to honor the memory of her daughter, police said.
The incident occurred on Stahley Street, at 4:10 p.m. Friday, exactly two years after Nisa Mickens, 15, and Cuevas, 16, were found after being beaten and stabbed to death by MS-13 members.
In an incident that the police are investigating, a memorial to the two girls was installed near where the girl’s bodies were found, when a resident began to dismantle it.
News 12 Long Island captured footage of the incident when Rodríguez and a man confronted an SUV driver. The vehicle accelerated and fatally ran over Rodriguez, who was then taken to Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, where she was pronounced dead.
This incident is being investigated by the Suffolk Police Department’s homicide squad.
An outpouring of condolences ensued from Suffolk County District Attorney Timothy Sini, Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and President Donald Trump, who had invited Rodriguez to the State of the Union address.