Ohio Waitress Killed by Ex in Front of Coworkers and Customers

April 19, 2021

By Kana Ruhalter

In Canton, Ohio, a waitress was fatally shot at a Bob Evans restaurant on Friday. Rebecca Jean Rogers, 38, was working a shift at the restaurant when the gunman opened fire, killing Rogers in front of the restaurant staff and 12 customers dining in, People magazine reports. 

Rogers was the only victim; customers stayed safe by ducking under their table during the shooting. Rogers was hurt from multiple gunshot wounds when police found her and immediately rushed her to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The shooter, Richard James Nelson, fled through the back door, despite the officers arriving on the scene within minutes. Authorities were able to track and detain him. According to Canton Police Chief Jack Angelo, the shooter, 54, was an ex-boyfriend of Rogers. 

“There was a history of domestic violence in their past,” said Angelo. “Far too often, domestic incidents lead to tragedies like this.” 

Nelson has been charged with aggravated murder but has not entered a plea. 

If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.