Killeen mother demanding answers after police took five days to notify her that son was killed in hit-and-run

Rhonda Denise Taylor’s 38-year-old son Kevin Roderick Gordon II was killed in a hit-and-run on...
Rhonda Denise Taylor’s 38-year-old son Kevin Roderick Gordon II was killed in a hit-and-run on Fort Hood Street on Oct. 2.(Alex Fulton)
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 6:01 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 28, 2022 at 6:01 PM CDT
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KILLEEN, Texas (KWTX) - Rhonda Denise Taylor’s 38-year-old son Kevin Roderick Gordon II was killed in a hit-and-run on Fort Hood Street on Oct. 2 and the mother is seeking an explanation for why authorities took five days to inform her of her son’s death.

Initially, the Killeen Police Department did not identify the victim due to a pending notification of next of kin.

Taylor told KWTX News 10 she didn’t receive a call from Justice of the Peace Bill Cooke until Oct. 7, five days after the incident. He told her he had completed an autopsy on her son and that Gordon was involved in a deadly hit-and-run down the street from their apartment on Fort Hood Street.

Taylor said Gordon was diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He sometimes experienced what Taylor calls “hallucinations.”

“Hallucinating, saying things that weren’t real,” Taylor said. “He said he was in the navy. He had to go to Dallas and go report.”

Her son loved walking to the Chevron Gas Station across the street from their apartment. On Oct. 2 he took a trip there and never returned home.

“He’s mentally challenged,” she recalled. “I was afraid that someone would take advantage of his hallucination state and hurt him.”

Over the next few days, she made phone calls and drove around Killeen trying to find any information on her son’s whereabouts.

“I was just in shambles and with a nervous stomach because it wasn’t like him to not come back,” Taylor said.

After days of searching, the Justice of the Peace contacted her and delivered the news.

“They treated my son like he was nothing, they just threw him in a bag,” she said. “But he was somebody.”

Taylor is still wondering why authorities took five days to notify her, especially when at the time of his death she said he had documents that identified him.

“He had paperwork in his backpack that he always carried,” Taylor said. “He felt that he had these important papers and one of his so-called ‘important papers’ had my address on it.”

This grieving mother is now asking for this to never happen to anyone else.

“I know they can’t bring my son back, but just try to make it right,” Taylor said. “Then that way the next mother, son, daughter, father wouldn’t have to go through what I had to go through.”

Killeen Police Department assistant chief of police Alex Gearhart released the following statement to KWTX News 10:

“It is our policy to notify the next of kin as soon as practical during a death investigation. Every case has its own unique circumstances and finding next of kin can be challenging at times. In this particular case, the identity of the victim was not immediately known to the investigator, who was awaiting positive ID from Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science. That led to Ms. Taylor not being notified in a timely manner. Since that time, our Crime Victim’s Liaison has been working with her to apply for any possible victim services or benefits.”

The department is asking anyone who may have seen anything or has information about this fatality, to contact Crime Stoppers at 254-526-TIPS (8477) or go online at

You can also download the P3Tips App for IOS or Android and give an anonymous tip.

All information is confidential and anonymous and if your tip leads to the arrest of the person(s) responsible, you could be eligible to receive a reward up to $1,000 in cash.