Mother of alleged MS-13 victim is fatally struck before vigil

Posted: Updated:
BRENTWOOD -

Family and friends are mourning the loss of Evelyn Rodriguez - the mother of a teen allegedly murdered by MS-13 who was struck and killed by a driver in Brentwood Friday before a vigil for her daughter. 

The bodies of Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas, two Brentwood high school students, were found on the corner of Ray Court and Stahley Street in 2016. The girls had been beaten and stabbed to death allegedly by members of the MS-13 street gang.

Rodriguez, the mother of Kayla Cuevas, was run over and killed by an SUV at the same spot at 4 p.m. 

MORE: President invites parents of MS-13 victims to State of the Union

News 12 was at the scene to report on the vigil marking the second anniversary of the girls' death when a News 12 photographer captured video showing the final moments of Rodriguez's life. She and Freddy Cuevas are seen on the video both yelling at a woman inside an SUV. 

The fatal chain of events started as an argument over the placement of a memorial for the teenagers. According to police, the woman driving the SUV was a relative of someone who lives on that street, and was upset that the memorial was in front of their house.

When the SUV driver hit the gas, she ran over Rodriguez. She was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

President Donald Trump posted on social media about the incident Friday evening, saying his thoughts and prayers were with Rodriguez. 

Since her daughter's death, Rodriguez had been an advocate against gang violence. In what turned out to be her final interview Friday, Rodriguez spoke to News 12 about losing Kayla and her gratitude to the community for lifting her in her time of grief. 

"Thank you for your continued support and prayers. It's hard," she told News 12

According to police the driver of that SUV stayed on the scene and dialed 911. At this point no charges have been filed.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo commented on the death of Evelyn Rodrigues, saying in part, "Evelyn showed tremendous courage by dedicating herself to the disruption of gang violence throughout her community. As she stood by my side as we fought back against MS-13, I stand with her family tonight."

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in part, "In the aftermath of her unimaginable loss she was a pillar of strength for her family and the community. Evelyn was courageous, loving, selfless and she never stopped fighting for her daughter and for every child In the community."

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