State Police identify victim of fatal shooting at Smith’s in Edgewood

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EDGEWOOD, N.M. (KRQE) – The search continues for the robber who murdered a gas station clerk.

While police try to figure out who the killer is, people in Edgewood can’t believe this happened in their small town, and they can’t believe it happened to the longtime Edgewood gas station attendant who so many of them knew.

Everyone knew Michael Pelkey simply as “Mike.” Monday, Smith’s confirmed the 62-year-old worked for the company for 12 years.

His car is still parked at the Smith’s in Edgewood and has been transformed into a makeshift memorial. People have been in and out all day dropping off flowers and writing messages like “We’ll miss you Mike.”

People say they would only talk to him for a few minutes at a time when they would pay for gas, but they would form friendships with Mike who they say would crack jokes and truly loved his job.

“He was a good guy and had a big heart and he believed in God,” Clifford Witherspoon said.

“Laughing and joking and telling us the political weather and climates of the world…He was just awesome. We’re going to miss him,” Ken Padilla said.

A witness says after the robbery Sunday afternoon Pelkey followed the man out of the attendant’s booth. When they got into some sort of confrontation, the robber shot and killed Pelkey.

Surveillance footage shows a white pickup truck believed to be connected to the incident. New Mexico State Police describe the killer as 20 to 25 years old, at least 5-foot-10 and with a thin build.

Smith’s released the following statement Monday:

“We are shocked by this event and mourn the loss of our associate of 12 years, Mike Pelkey.  Smith’s management is meeting with our Edgewood store associates and offering professional counseling through this difficult time. We are working with  police during this investigation to provide whatever support  required to apprehend the perpetrator of this criminal act.” -Aubriana Martindale, Smith’s Food & Drug Division Corporate Affairs Manager

Monday night, State Police released a photo on Twitter of a white sedan believed to belong to a witness of the shooting. Anyone with information about the vehicle is asked to call dispatch at 505-841-9256.

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