LOWELL (CBS) – Sunday afternoon, family and friends of slain shelter worker Jose Roldan remembered the man that used his second chance serving others.
Roldan died at the Center Saturday morning, after one of the residents fatally stabbed him. Roldan was trying to break up a fight when Pericles Clergeau allegedly attacked him.
Cries of anguish filled the street as Roldan’s family and friends held a candlelight vigil at the Center.
WBZ-TV’s Alana Gomez reports.
“He was my everything,” said his longtime girlfriend Mary-Anne Buhlmann. “I don’t know how I will live without him.”
Relatives say Roldan was once homeless himself. He eventually got a job at a local restaurant and worked his way up from the dishwasher to the store manager. His former boss Mathew Dakoto said Roldan was the “hardest working person I ever met.”
Roldan moved out of the shelter and into his own place. He returned to the Living Center as a volunteer and then as a paid staff member. For more than ten years Roldan tried to give back to the organization that helped him.
WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports.
“This guy everytime I came in through these doors, he’s always clothing me making sure I had a bed and he fed me,” said Robert Dickey who’s been in and out of the shelter for seventeen years.
Roldan’s brother Miguel Cuba called on the shelter to improve security measures.
“We need to make a change let’s not let my brother die in vain,” said Cuba. “People who live here gotta be safe.”
One of the shelter’s board of directors, Larry Beane, said they plan to work with the city and police department to make changes.
“I agree with the family,” said Beane. “We’re working to make sure this never happens again.
Many at the vigil said the last couple of years have been the most positive years of Roldan’s life. His girlfriend said he wanted to go back to school and better himself.
The suspect will be arraigned Monday.