AUDUBON, N.J. (CBS) — A vigil was held Monday night for Jerry Pastore, whose death shocked a Camden County community. Hearts were heavy as hundreds came out to mourn the loss of the beloved deli owner.
The victim’s family says they’re not harboring hate against their loved one’s alleged killer.
“This has shattered us but I mean I’m going to choose to focus on my husband,” widow Ethel Pastore said.
The Pastore family is choosing to focus on the good times, knowing no new memories can be made.
Police say 57-year-old Pastore’s life was taken by an 18-year-old around 5 p.m. Friday afternoon outside of Pastore’s business, the Shamrock Deli.
Eyewitness News spoke with his grieving widow Monday night during a vigil for Pastore.
“I don’t want to focus on the bad. That part is horrible enough and I have to live with that for the rest of my life,” Ethel Pastore said.
According to police, Dyheam Williams entered the store Friday afternoon inquiring about his job application. Somehow that escalated into Williams allegedly stealing the tip jar and running out of the store.
According to police, a witness says Pastore followed him and during a physical altercation, Pastore was stabbed 11 times and died a short time later.
The community is devastated.
“This is very unusual. Having lived here as long as I did, I’ve never seen a murder here. I’ve never even heard of one,” Audubon resident Julie Fenimore said.
“It doesn’t matter what happened, we all have each other’s backs,” Audubon resident Courtney Smarro said.
For now, the deli remains closed as the community mourns a life taken too soon. But with candles raised, they’re choosing to love.
“Hating does not help anything. It just doesn’t. You have to reach out to people and help them where they need help. But if you’re going to hate them, you can’t help them,” Fenimore said.
Williams was arrested Saturday after officers found the tip jar with his fingerprints on it. He has been charged with murder.
The deli is expected to reopen sometime Tuesday but employees are asking for the community’s patience.
A GoFundMe has been set up for the Pastore family.