Family, friends remember anti-gang advocate Evelyn Rodriguez

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A Brentwood mother who became an anti-gang activist after her daughter was allegedly murdered by MS-13 was remembered at her wake on Thursday.

Last Friday, Evelyn Rodriguez was run over by an SUV just before a planned vigil marking the second anniversary of the deaths of her daughter, Kayla Cuevas, and Nisa Mickens.

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

News 12 was on the scene at the time of the incident. Video shows Rodriguez and Kayla’s father Freddy Cuevas in a confrontation with the driver of the SUV. News 12 was told that the driver was a relative to the homeowner, who dismantled a memorial to the teens that was placed in front of their home.

On Thursday, family and friends remembered Rodriguez at the same funeral home that buried Kayla.

“She was always giving hugs to everyone and comforting us all through every trial we face,” said Nicole Abbott, of St. James. “She was always there for everyone around her.”

Hours before her death, Rodriguez spoke to News 12 about the pain of losing her daughter and her gratitude to the community for lifting her in her darkest hour.

“Thank you for your continued support and prayers. It's hard,” she said.

Suffolk police and the district attorney's office say they're continuing their investigation into Rodriguez's death.

Rodriguez’s funeral Mass will be held Friday morning at St. Anne's Church. She will then be buried alongside her daughter in Central Islip.

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