‘Off the hook’: Mother of man gunned down in DC mass shooting says he was frustrated with rise in crime

Bernard Hodges, 35, was shot and killed in D.C. on Saturday Aug. 5, 2023.(Courtesy Tempie Satcher )

The mother of a man who was shot and killed during a mass shooting in Southeast D.C. on Saturday told WTOP he worked three jobs to support his family and aspired to be a role model for young people.

“I can’t express to you how much my son meant to the community,” said Tempie Satcher. “BJ was a true role model for all of us.”

Bernard “BJ” Hodges, 35, was identified Monday as one of three people killed in the shooting in the 1600 block of Good Hope Road around 8:30 p.m. Saturday. The others were identified as Tymea Cook, 27, of Southeast D.C., and Reginald Gilbert, 34, of no fixed address.

Two other people were injured in the shooting, D.C. police said.

Satcher said Hodges was very familiar with the intersection of 16th Street and Good Hope Road. He would host cookouts and “feed the guys out there on the streets,” she said, adding that it meant a lot to him to make sure people in the community didn’t go hungry.

On the night of the shooting, Satcher said Hodges had just dropped his sons off at her house before heading over to the intersection he frequented. Satcher said his friends told her that “he was at the wrong place at the wrong time because he had just gotten out there.”

Hodges attended school for HVAC and worked three jobs, Satcher said, graduating as salutatorian. He worked in the boiler room at MGM, and when he got off, would work another job in the morning.

“This man always expressed the value of what he wanted to do, how much money he wanted to make,” Satcher said. “By the time he’s the age of 40, he wanted to be a millionaire, and the only way you’re going to do it is to work hard.”

Satcher said he explained the importance of a good work ethic to his family, including his two kids and his “two bonus sons” from his wife’s previous relationship.

“His wife is hurting so bad because she said he was the kind of man that did not even want her to work,” Satcher said. “He paid the bills. He provided for his children.”

Even in the community, Satcher said, Hodges would talk to people about what they wanted to do in life and how they could achieve it. If someone had a question, he’d Google it for them.

“He would even try to go as far as giving them information, basically putting the jobs in their hands,” Satcher said. “All they had to do was step right into it.”

Satcher said she and Hodges had attended a family reunion in Atlanta about two weeks ago, Hodges’ first in several years. He asked if could host the next family reunion in D.C. next summer.

“He had a heart of gold,” Satcher said.

While her son had been arrested a couple of times, Satcher said he was motivated to turn his life around

“That’s not the road he would want to go,” Satcher said, adding that is not the kind of role model Hodges wanted to be for his sons.

Long before Saturday’s shooting, Satcher said Hodges had grown frustrated with the rise in crime across the city.

“He said, ‘These youngins, they’re not afraid of the police, they’re not afraid of the law,'” Satcher said. “They don’t have any activities for them to do and they don’t have their parents in their life. It’s everywhere. They’re robbing, stealing, killing and doing a lot of carjackings. It’s just off the hook.”

D.C. police are still investigating the shooting. They are offering a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction.

Scott Gelman

Scott Gelman is a digital editor and writer for WTOP. A South Florida native, Scott graduated from the University of Maryland in 2019. During his time in College Park, he worked for The Diamondback, the school’s student newspaper.

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