The maternal grandparents of Mia Rodgers, who police say was killed Friday by her paternal grandfather, have asked deputies for a police escort to the 9-year-old girl’s funeral on Thursday.
Ronald Fred Gregory, 67, is charged with two counts of murder in the Friday shooting deaths of his wife, Barbara Gregory, and Mia. Police say Gregory shot himself twice after shooting both Mia and Barbara Gregory.
They were killed during a custody fight over Mia between the two sets of grandparents. Kevin Gregory, Mia’s father, joined his parents in the custody dispute. Mia’s mother died in 2013 from leukemia.
The Gregorys had been granted temporary custody of Mia in October.
The funeral and burial for Mia, at 2 p.m. at Bass-Cauthen Funeral Home and Rock Hill Memorial Gardens, will be combined with services for her grandmother.
“We are going to the funeral for our granddaughter, and we don’t want any problems,” said Paul Rodgers, Mia’s maternal grandfather, about why he wanted a police presence at the funeral.
Rodgers is demanding justice for Mia’s death but said he and his family deserve to be at the services to pay respects to Mia.
“We love our granddaughter and we will never stop loving her,” Rodgers said.
Mia’s uncle, Eric, who is coming to Rock Hill from Alabama for the funeral, said by telephone he does not expect any problems at the services.
Trent Faris, a York County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson, said the office regularly handles police escorts to funerals and expects that this would be no different.
“We do escorts for families all the time,” Faris said.