LORAIN, Ohio – The family of a fallen trooper say they are hurt and upset over comments made by the man accused of causing his death.
“I don’t think it is fair he is out of jail and allowed to do this,” said Ana Velez, the mother of Trooper Kenny Velez. “How can he eat, how can he drink, and have fun out there when he killed a person, and that person was my son.”
Ana Velez, her husband Benjamin, and other family members and friends say they are angered by recent Facebook comments and posts by Joshua Gaspar.
Velez was outside his cruiser doing traffic enforcement on I-90 near Warren Road when police say Gaspar hit and killed him on Sept. 15. Gaspar was released on bond last month and is awaiting trial on several charges.
He recently made a post on the Ohio Going Blue, a law enforcement support group Facebook page, saying that he is not the person they think he is, that he supports law enforcement, is a Christian and says Trooper Velez’s death was a tragic accident.
“Everybody can say they are Christian,” Ana Velez said. “He needs to take responsibility for what he did.”
An official with the Ohio Going Blue Facebook page, released a statement saying they don’t believe Gaspar is remorseful.
“His illegal actions killed a trooper who was just trying to make the roadways safer,” the statement read in part.
AJ Torres, a former state trooper and a good friend of the Velez family, says they are also disturbed by posts on Gaspar’s personal Facebook page. Gaspar posted pictures of being at the Cavs game .
“Kenny loved sports, he would have loved to go to a Cavs game,” Torres said. “We have a grieving family, we haven’t even picked out Kenny’s headstone yet and this guy is celebrating at Cavs games.”
Neither Gaspar nor his attorney responded to requests to discuss the family’s concerns.
“It just hurts us,” says Rey Torres Jr., Trooper Velez’s cousin. “He had one hour left on his shift, and was one month away from retirement.”
The family did say they are very grateful to Ohio Going Blue for their support.
“My son is gone and every day I miss him,” Benjamin Velez, the troopers father said. “It hurts.”