Community Holds Fundraiser to Support Denton Officer Shot During Traffic Stop

Officer Urbano Rodriguez was shot during a traffic stop Oct. 29 in Denton

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At the North Star Dragway, there was no shortage of cars, trucks and flags all in support of a Denton police officer.

The fundraiser Saturday was for Officer Urbano Rodriguez. The officer was shot twice during a traffic stop in October, once in the head and once in the leg. He has since been moved to an out-of-state rehabilitation facility, where he continues to recover.

Proceeds from entry fees to the car meet went to the officer's family, along with a portion of the proceeds from food vendors. The fundraiser was organized by Gary Hatfield, who said he also had family members in law enforcement.

"This was in my backyard, that's close to where I live. It's hitting home, you know?" Hatfield said. "I just wanted to do something to help him and his family in their time of need, because essentially because they're always out protecting us. It's time for us to step up and protect them."

Lisa Mayfield is a board member with the nonprofit Backing The Blue Denton, which supports law enforcement members and their families. They were also present at the fundraiser Saturday.

"I got a little misty-eyed seeing all the trucks with the flags coming just knowing that there are people out there supporting law enforcement," Mayfield said. "He's [Rodriguez] strong, he's strong beyond amazing. He's a fighter. The fact that he's here with us is amazing."

The organization speaks with Rodriguez's family almost everyday. They're taken aback from the all of the community and fundraisers, Mayfield said.

She said she's known them for about five years through her husband, who also works with the department.

"They talk about a brotherhood in law enforcement, but it's very much the same thing with law enforcement families. We all experience the stress that goes along with it, but we all kind of feel the stress when something happens to one another," she said.

Officer Allison Vetere, a public information officer with the Denton Police Department, said they were touched by the outpouring of support for their officer.

"As a coworker, he's just got the heart of a servant. I mean, everyone knows that he worked at the animal services department before coming to be a police officer, so he,s worked to help animals and now working to help the community," Vetere said.

Vetere said the Hundred Club of Denton was also assisting with donations for Rodriguez. For more info, visit their Facebook page or website.

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