SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – A beloved Shreveport coach who was shot last year over a parking spot outside an Anderson Island home was memorialized by Shreveport Parks and Recreation Saturday with a large display plaque at Cockrell Metro Park.
Roderick Jerome Gaut Sr., was gunned down by a neighbor of the home where he and his family were going to attend a repast following a funeral.
For several years, Gaut was the volunteer coach the 318 Outlaws youth football team, after starting the non-profit organization, “Positive Lessons All Children Embrace” that allowed kids to participate in sports who otherwise might not have had the chance.
Family and friends of Gaut were there for the unveiling of the plaque, which reads:
City of Shreveport • Department of Public Assembly and Recreation • Bill Cockrell Park
In Loving Memory of Coach Roderick Jerome Gaut
In recognition of his lifelong commitment to his city and to the children of Shreveport. Roderick’s life was one defined by humanity, dedication, honesty and compassion. His long standing contributions to so many is his legacy. One that will forever continue to flourish and inspire. A humble leader, mentor, hero, coach, volunteer and friend to all.
Gaut’s son, Roderick Gaut II or “RJ” said it was rough getting up this morning, but he was happy to experience his family coming together to celebrate his father. RJ was with his father when he was shot a year ago and said his father protected him.
“I still struggle with trying to move on. I keep myself busy a lot with sports, going to hang out with my friends, working out, basketball. Anything just to keep my mind busy,” R.J. said.
He said he understands the emotional moments from other family members and friends, and he tries to keep himself from having those moments. He added that his father wouldn’t be fazed by the SPAR highlighting him for his contributions.
“My dad don’t care about stuff like this. He never did anything for the recognition or the fame. He did it out of the kindness of his heart. I mean I love this. I appreciate the people, the City of Shreveport for doing this for us, but I know my dad,”R.J. said.
He said as he gets older, he’s starting to understand life lessons is father taught him years ago as he gets older. He’s thankful for those lessons.