Friend: Pool hall shooting victim was devoted dad
Police say disturbance between 2 motorcycle clubs led to deadly shooting
ORANGE PARK, Fla. – The friends of a man who was shot and killed Saturday outside an Orange Park pool hall said he was a family man who loved his daughters and loved riding his motorcycle.
The Orange Park Police Department said Michael Rogers, 43, was shot multiple times during a dispute between two biker clubs: the Outcasts and the Soul Brothers.
The police investigation into his shooting death and the shooting of a second victim that night continues. The second victim was taken to UF Health Jacksonville, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released.
Rogers' friends said he worked multiple jobs, including being a DJ at Cap'n Odies Lounge and at the Navy commissary in Atlantic Beach.
"He loved his daughters. He had three of them that were active in sports. He was always going to games and trying to keep up with them. He was just a good guy," Rogers' friend, Laura Greer, said. "He was arranging his schedules so that he could go to this game or that game. He worked hard. I know he was working a couple of jobs at one time and freelancing on the side just to help with the girls and their needs."
Police said the dispute that led to the deadly shooting started over motorcycle club vests and insignia worn by certain patrons of Park Avenue Billiards.
Greer said she has known Rogers for about six years and can't believe that her friend is gone because of something she called senseless.
"He was just a person that was there to pick you up," Greer said. "He can see on Facebook if you were having a bad day and he would send you a note, just a message to say, 'Hey, how are you doing?' He was that kind of person."
The Orange Park Police Department said it is working with Park Avenue Billiards and other bars in the Town of Orange Park to make sure that all the bars have necessary security precautions to prevent any other biker vs. biker incidents.
News4Jax crime and safety analyst Gil Smith said those security precautions are necessary.
"One thing they may be able to do, like at this particular billiards club, is to just have certain motorcycle gangs come on certain nights and another come on a different night, so they might not be there all together at the same time," Smith said.
The second victim's identity and the identity of the suspected shooter are not being released until the investigation is complete, police said.
Smith said that is a smart move by police so that there are no attempts at retaliation.
State Attorney Angela Corey's Office is investigating at least six homicides in Duval County and two in Clay County in which claims of self-defense are believed to have been made. One of them dates back to May 2014. Police have not said whether such a claim has been made in the Rogers shooting case.
The manager at Park Avenue Billiards said Tuesday that any questions about the shooting should be directed to the police department. She pointed out, though, that the pool hall is not a biker bar; it was just Bike Night at the pool hall on the night of the shooting. She said they won't be having Bike Nights again for the foreseeable future.
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