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Outpouring follows death of Sportsman Channel host

By Keith Ridler

Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 01:39 a.m. HST, Mar 10, 2013

The Sportsman Channel says it's deeply saddened by the shooting death in northwestern Montana of one of its TV hosts who traveled the world in search of big game and shared his adventures on his program "A Rifleman's Journal."

The company in a statement early Saturday said it will miss Gregory G. Rodriguez's "thoughtfulness, candor and dedication to encourage a safe and enjoyable outdoor experience for all."

Police said Rodriguez, 43, of Sugar Land, Texas, died Thursday in the town of Whitefish when he was shot by another man in an apparent jealous rage while the TV personality visited the shooter's wife.

An outpouring on social media has followed the death of Rodriguez, who combined his comfort in front of the camera and travels to exotic locations with his hunting and shooting expertise into a popular program. The Sportsman Channel said that in January "A Rifleman's Journal" won "Best Instructional/Educational Program" at the Sportsman Channel's Sportsman Choice Awards.

"We're all in a state of shock and disbelief right now," said David Kelly, a spokesman for the Houston Safari Club, of which Rodriguez was a member.

Rodriguez is survived by his wife, Lisa, and two children. In a statement issued Saturday, the family said he was in Montana on a business trip.

"Greg was a wonderful husband, father, son, brother and friend," the statement said. "We love him and will miss him dearly. Please respect the family in their time of mourning and allow them to grieve in peace."

Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial said that 41-year-old Wayne Bengston shot Rodriguez at about 10:30 p.m. at the home of his wife's mother. Dial said Bengston then beat his wife, took his 2-year-old son to a relative's house and drove to his home about 25 miles away in West Glacier, where he killed himself. Dial said Bengston's wife was treated at a hospital and released that night.

Dial said that Rodriguez and the woman, who works for a firearms manufacturer in the Flathead Valley, met at a trade show and struck up a casual relationship that police do not believe was romantic.

Rodriguez was the founder and CEO of Global Adventure Outfitters. That company declined to comment. According to the company's website, Rodriguez was a mortgage banker before a trip to Africa led him to alter course in the 1990s and start pursuing hunting for a living. He eventually traveled to 21 countries on six continents on that quest, the company said.


Ridler reported from Boise, Idaho. Associated Press writer Christopher Sherman contributed to this report from McAllen, Texas.

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whs1966 wrote:
Having lived and traveled extensively in Montana, the Big Sky state, I can tell you that you simply do not mess with another man's wife since so many guys carry guns. Whether the relationship was romantic or not does not matter. In meeting with her late at night in a home rather than with her and her husband in a coffee shop Rodriguez asked for trouble...and he got what he asked for.
on March 10,2013 | 06:30AM
jtamura69 wrote:
Yeah! That's the way blame the victim. That's why the judicial system favors the criminals.
on March 10,2013 | 06:41AM
koolau wrote:
In my all too quick response to whs1966, I failed to acknowledge that Bengston became his own judge and jury. The excuse that Montana is a gun carrying state as implied partial reasoning for the shooting, is a weak one. Texas, where Rodriguez is from, is a well known gun carrying state as is states like Alaska and others. One does not mess around with another's wife, no matter what state it's in, even here in Hawai'i where emotions can run just as high.
on March 10,2013 | 07:18AM
koolau wrote:
"....got what he asked for"? To be fair, you should have inserted "unaware of". The guy was in the kitchen for heavens sake! It's not as though the two were in the bedroom. Let the jury and judge decide the fate of the shooter.
on March 10,2013 | 07:02AM
COlohe1 wrote:
the shooter is dead so no need a judge or jury to decide his fate!!!
on March 10,2013 | 07:12AM
false wrote:
Is this an example of a why "we need to protect ourselves" with more gun ownership? Obviously the husband wasn't worth being married to. Why didn't he just join in on the conversation? The end tells more about the deranged marriage some people are having to live through.
on March 10,2013 | 06:56AM
false wrote:
Visiting the home of the ladies mother while the mother (grandmother) and child are there doesn't see like "fooling around" to me. Remember that the lady worked for a gun manufacturer... did you ever think Gregory might have been there trying to recruit another sponsor for the show... or perhaps setting up a future show... remember he was in Montana on business. Perhaps he was there at the invitation of the grandmother of the child to try to convince the lady to leave an abusive relationship????
on March 10,2013 | 09:12AM
patk wrote:
Well Mr. Rifleman, I guess you ran into a big game that knew how to shoot back. So much for your hunting skills, you were tracked and killed by the biggest game of all.
on March 10,2013 | 07:13PM
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