Crime

Edgewood business hosts fundraiser honoring slain gas station attendant

EDGEWOOD, N.M. (KRQE) - The murder of an Edgewood gas station attendant is still on the minds of many.

As the small community continues to mourn his death, dozens came together Saturday at a roadside event to help his family with the unexpected loss.

Route 66 in Edgewood was lined with handmade goods and signed memorabilia. The so-called "Roadside Party" was hosted by a local business and it honored one of the community's finest -- Pelkey.

"Everybody knew mike if they stopped in and got gas at Smith's," said Jaylyne Ellison.

Edgewood residents say whether you knew him for five minutes or for five years, he was a good guy who made a positive impact.

The 62-year-old was murdered last month during a robbery at the Smith's gas station in Edgewood. Police said he was shot and killed in the parking lot after trying to stop thieves who stole less than $50.

Just down the road from Pelkey's former post, members of the community sold goods and put on the silent auction. The goal was to raise money to bring some extra comfort to Pelkey's family.

"He was an important member of the Edgewood community, everybody loved him so much and it's their chance to step up and show the family some respect," Ellison said.

Pelkey worked at the Smith's for 12 years and many said those brief encounters with him at the gas station made a lasting impact.

"I didn't know him really well but he was the guy that was at the station that you go to for a few minutes and say hi and he was always a nice guy," Brian Tange said.

Event organizers believe the immense turnout Saturday, along with the turnout at other events held so far, is a true a reflection of Pelkey's character.

"Between the candlelight vigil all the local support and then the fundraising event here to help his family. I'm really proud of Edgewood," Ellison said.

The money raised Saturday will go to the Pelkey family to help cover funeral expenses.

Seven suspects have been charged in connection to the deadly shooting. The state is looking to keep alleged triggerman Daniel Martinez behind bars until trial.


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