DENTON (CBSDFW.COM) — As his recovery continues, hundreds are expected to participate in a community fundraiser to support Denton Police Officer Urbano Rodriguez — who was shot in the line of duty last month.
Rodriguez’s loved ones told CBS 11’s Ken Molestina that it’s going to be a long road, but the officer is showing signs of improvement while still in the hospital.
Meanwhile, BJ’s Restaurant and Brewery, along with neighboring Bone Daddy’s, agreed to donate 20% of all Wednesday’s proceeds to his family. Crowds have since lined the sidewalk with thin-blue-line American flags to show their support for the officer, who was shot during a traffic stop in October.
Denton Police Chief Frank Dixon said he’s optimistic about his officer’s recovery.
“I am very pleasantly happy to tell you that he is incrementally progressing every day that goes by, and every day that we have him with us is a blessing,” Dixon said. “I have no doubt that if anybody is going to come through, it’s going to be Urban.”
The fundraiser is the kind of community support Dixon said “goes a long way” in showing the officer and his family that they aren’t alone.
“At the end of the day, the community is the police and the police is the community as well,” he said.
Dixon also said the suspect in the shooting — Antwon Pinkston — is now facing an additional charge of aggravated assault on a public servant. The investigation is still being headed by the Texas Rangers.
“We are purposely staying out of it,” he said. “We want to be as transparent as we can.”
For event organizers like Jennifer Todd, the main focus is on supporting the Rodriguez family any way they can.
“Denton is a community. We will come out of this, but the city of Denton completely supports their officers like no other city I have ever seen,” Todd said.
The fundraiser will run until closing time at both restaurants Wednesday.
The Denton Police Department has since said that moving forward — rather than responding to individual requests — the department will release “significant updates” on Rodriguez as they occur.