Stranded Motorist Allegedly Shot by Clerk Struggles to Recover Physically, Financially

The family of a Dallas man who was allegedly shot in the face by a gas station clerk while trying to escape an angry mob says things have gone from bad to worse.

On Oct. 2, Michael Rodgers and his wife Tarsha, self-employed movers, were helping a friend move to a new home.

On the way to return a rented U-Haul truck, Michael accidentally locked the keys inside the truck while stopped at a gas station on the 11000 block of Walnut Hill Lane.

While waiting for a locksmith, Michael joined his wife and their three daughters who were waiting in the parking lot in the family's SUV.

Dallas police said that's when the gas station's clerk, identified as 50-year-old Zafar Raza, demanded the truck be moved after becoming frustrated that the U-Haul was blocking his gas pumps and slowing business.

Michael said he explained he couldn't move the truck until a locksmith arrived. Moments later, he said at least two people began beating on the windows of the family's SUV.

Leaving the moving truck behind, Michael and his family attempted to escape in the SUV. While driving away, he struck other vehicles in the parking lot while nearly running over bystanders, police said in a statement.

That's when, according to police, Raza fired a gun into the Rodgers' family vehicle, striking Michael in the face.

Michael spent nearly two weeks in the hospital. The shooting has left him temporarily unable to hear and he is barely able to walk. His mouth is wired shut, so he is unable to speak, and he's lost 60 pounds.

“I was trying to get my girls to safety,” Michael told NBC 5, using a dry erase board. “All this because I locked the keys in the U-Haul. This is why we're going through this whole scenario, because I locked the keys in the U-Haul."

"He's healing. He has a long road ahead," said Tarsha, of her husband's recovery.

Meanwhile, the Rodgers family is financially strained. Michael is unable to work because of his injuries and Tarsha is unable to work because her husband needs nonstop care. Since the two were self-employed, they are struggling to stay above water while raising their three children.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to help with their expenses and Michael's recovery effort.

Raza, meanwhile, has been charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and is free after posting bail.

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