officer

Former Coworkers Call Denton Officer Recovering From Gunshot Wound ‘a Bright Light'

Denton Officer Urbano Rodriguez remains in critical but stable condition after being shot in the head during a traffic stop Tuesday morning.

As his department calls his chances of recovery "favorable," his former coworkers in the city's animal services department say he's always shown the tenacity needed to survive.

Volunteer Coordinator Gayla Nelsen says animal services is where Urbano, whom she calls Urban, started his career with the city.

"Urban is just a great guy. And when he started working in our shelter, what a bright spot. He was a lot of fun, worked hard, was smart and creative," said Nelsen.

They're traits she believed showed most when the animal control officer took it upon himself to create a wheelchair for a little dachshund who was brought into the shelter without the use of his back legs.

"He said, 'I think we can do something for this dog. Let's build a cart for him'," said Nelsen.

So with the help of one of the shelter's donors, Rodriguez took it upon himself to buy supplies, find instructions and create a set of wheels perfectly outfitted to gift mobility to the little dog.

"He would work at the shelter some. He would take it home some and bring it back and try it on the dog," said Nelsen.

Eventually it was ready for the big reveal, and animal service's full staff was there for the moment.

"It was like someone had just won the Super Bowl. Everyone was cheering for the dog. And I don't know whose smile was bigger, Urban's or William's," said Nelsen.

Six years later, it's a story she still remembers in vivid detail because of her former coworker's care and the tenacity she believes will help him pull through.

"That is him. He will not stop until he wins, and I believe that he's going to win," said Nelsen.

During their last update, Denton Police said Rodriguez had undergone two successful surgeries.

Contact Us