University of Akron student pleads not guilty to stabbing friend to death

Friends gather at benefit for Trooper Kenneth Velez’s family

ELYRIA--Hundreds of people gathered Sunday night to honor the memory of Trooper Kenneth Velez, a man who gave all to protect and serve.

"There only thing that separates us is blood, that's how close we were," said AJ Torres, who helped organize the event.

The Spitzer Center on the campus of Lorain County Community College was full of people who want to help the Velez family.

They also remember an amazing friend and beloved father of three.

"He was an awesome guy, an awesome guy," Torres said.

Needless to say, the last several weeks have been extremely difficult. The state trooper was killed on September 15th while he was on duty.

Authorities said he was conducting a routine traffic stop when he was hit by another driver on I-90 in Cleveland.

"After Trooper Velez passed away we decided to do this fundraiser for his children," said Jean Paris, who worked with the Lorain County Blue Foundation to organize the event.

And it is an event that is thought to help the Velez family for many years to come. All money raised from the spaghetti dinner and auction will go directly to them.

Paris, who also lost her husband in the line of duty, knew she wanted to help. The Ohio Highway Patrol also hosted the event.

"The first year you are in this cloud and you look for the support to carry you through," Paris said.

Trooper Velez was 48-years old.

More on this story, here.