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Jaclyn Kelley / Eyewitness News
Email: jkelley@wwltv.com | Twitter: @jkelleyWWL

NEWORLEANS - New Orleans police Officer Rodney Thomas was laid to rest on July 12 after he was killed in a hit and run on the Interstate-10 highrise earlier in July.

Fellow officers, friends and even strangers gathered at the Homedale Inn Bar in Lakeview Sunday evening to remember Thomas.

'What we would really like is for the the friends and family of this officer and his coworkers to know is that this officer was not forgotten,' said Robert Gostl co-owner of Homedale Inn Bar and retired police officer.

'As time goes on people forget,' said Eric Hessler who attended Sunday's fundraiser. 'But the police department and especially the police officers themselves, they don't forget and they know what the sacrifice was.'

The beloved NOPD officer was described as someone who genuinely cared about others.

Tragically, his life was cut short July 7th when he was killed in a hit and run accident on the interstate.

'They don't believe it is going to happen to them and they know what they are doing, but it does happen and it usually happens at the hands of others,' said Hessler.

Thomas left behind a wife, two kids and 11 brothers and sisters. With the help of the Homedale Inn Bar, the community is stepping up to raise money for his family through a raffle.

'Over 50 different prizes people have donated,' said Gostl. 'Everything from a plant to tickets to a Saint's game and gift certificates at all the different restaurants.'

Gostl says it is an out-pouring of support for not only Thomas, but for all those who put their lives on the line everyday to protect and serve the community.

'This was a good, hard-working, honest police officer and the community is not only supportive of him, but all our law enforcement and first res ponders,' said Gostl.

Homedale Inn Bar said it will continue to accept donations through Wednesday.

Also, on Wednesday, Domino's Pizza is donating 20 percent of all sales from customers who mention Thomas and the code dn4.

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