The Family

Tameka Rodriguez, 35,  and her boyfriend Mark Q. “Mustafa” Galloway, 39,  had reportedly had problems in Philadelphia. When they split up, Tameka Rodriguez moved to a different city to stay with her mother.

Police say

“He arrived in Lancaster (Saturday),” “She wasn’t hiding from him. They were interacting, but things went bad at some point.”

Galloway has a history of criminal charges against him that seems familiar to me. Such charges are often seen in domestic violence situations (though I don’t know if that is what the situation was.) Charges of

assault, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment and carrying a gun without a license, stretching back to 1986.

There is no indication of who the victim or victims were in those charges.

Saturday night, Galloway went to Rodriguez’s home and the two went out to dinner. A cab driver who picked the pair up on Sunday morning says that Rodriguez was sobbing when he picked them up. He dropped them off at her mother’s home and says that as he was driving away, he heard yelling.

Two hours later shots were fired. Police say they found two people down outside the home. Three more were found nearby.

Police say Tameka Rodriguez was struck multiple times. So was her mother Betty Hogue, 54. Police say that her daughter Juanita Rodriguez-Rose, 19, was holding her 2 year old son when she was hit. The same bullet that struck the mother also hit the child in the leg. Neighbors have said she was also pregnant. The daughter’s boyfriend Luis Martinez-Lopez, 29, was also hit with a gunshot. Police have said it was unclear how many shots were fired as some shots hit more than one person.

According to the police chief

“When you shoot somebody more than once, obviously you mean business,” Lancaster city police Chief Sam Gatchell said Sunday night. “And this guy wasn’t aiming at their legs.”

Tameka Rodriguez and her mother Betty Hogue are reported to be in critical condition. Juanita Rodriguez-Rose and her boyfriend Luis Martinez-Lopez and the child are reported in stable condition.

Mark Galloway fled the scene. Police say one of the first calls they received was from Mark Galloway himself. He later turned himself in to police about 7 am. He was charged with 4 counts of attempted homicide, 5 counts of aggravated assault and weapons charges. Police say he admitted to the shootings and he did ask how Tamika was doing.

There is nothing definite about any abuse history in this relationship. But in others where there is a history, often that first call will come. There will often be a sort of pathetic tone in the voice, an apology that seems sincere. Often promises are made- they will change, it will never happen again. There may even be a promise that they will get help.

Then the excuses. Blaming the fact they were drunk, tired, upset about another situation- or worse that you made them angry. Asking, sometimes even begging. They may talk about how badly they are doing without you.

It is hard to say no. They are someone you love, they seem to be hurting- just as badly as you hurt. They seem sincere.

So you might decide to try. Maybe just to see them sometimes, maybe only phone calls- for a while. There will be added pressure to continue the relationship. They will be extra sweet. You may even feel a bit powerful, as if you have the power in the relationship. So if you go back, you have the control through threats to leave again.

Any power you feel is an illusion. Put yourself in the place of the aggressor. You hit someone. Yes, you may have to say some words to get them back. But you know that if they hit you, you would never take them back. So if you return, they feel powerful. They hit, you returned.

And they learned. They learned that if the words were right, you would forgive. They will find a way to shift the blame, at least in their minds- to the fact that the whole problem was yours. After all, you came back.

Some will decide to return anyway. But if you decide to return at least consider one thing. While you have that power and before you return you have the best chance. Insist they enroll in an abuse treatment program, complete it and practice it before you begin seeing them again. After the program, ask to see their completion certificate. Then give it some time before you return so you can see if they are really using the techniques they learn. If they are sincere in wanting to reconcile, if they really care about you- they will do it.

But you also have to be aware that any treatment program will only be as successful as the participants willingness to participate and practice it. And no treatment program is perfect. There are no guarantees.

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