Candlelight vigil held for New Bedford man stabbed to death

By John Krinjak

Email: jkrinjak@abc6.com

Twitter: @johnkrinjakABC6

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WLNE) — Family and friends lit candles, said prayers and shared memories of 45-year-old Juan Roman Monday night.

The vigil was held at the spot where Roman was stabbed to death behind a shopping center on Nauset Street Sunday night, following what witnesses describe as an argument with his girlfriend over a cigarette.

"This place has gotten worse and worse. that’s why I don’t hang around here," said Nicki Hamel, who lives across the street.

In court Monday, 23-year-old Zaishary Gonzalez pled not guilty to his murder. She’s being held without bail. Police say Gonzalez smashed roman’s car with rocks and slashed his tires with a knife, before using that same knife to kill him.

Roman’s nephew is still trying to wrap his head around it all. "It doesn’t make any sense. I go from seeing him, and then I get a call late last night that he passed away due to someone stabbing him that’s half his age. that doesn’t even make any sense."

The father of five had fallen on hard times and was staying in a tent nearby, quickly befriending others who lived there.

"He will be sadly missed, especially from everybody up here because we all knew him," said Elizabeth, who lived in another tent nearby. 

Though he may have been struggling, Roman’s family says he was always generous and kind to those he met–his memory now living on through those he touched. 

Roman’s family have set up a GoFundMe page here to help cover funeral costs.

© WLNE-TV / ABC6 2017

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