Around 200 people gathered outside of the Pizza Hut on East 38th to honor the life of Alicia Stalheim, the 25-year-old who was shot to death on November 24th.
Stalheim was a mother of two. “She was a great person, very positive no matter how crappy the situation got, she was always positive,” said Jim Shaffer, Stalheim’s father.
Besides being a positive person, Stalheim’s father Jim Shaffer says his daughter was also a hard worker, she was just promoted to a manager position at Pizza Hut before she was killed. “She loved to serve people, so the job was working perfect for her” said Shaffer.
The person charged with Stalheim’s murder is 48-year-old Luis Rodriguez, police say he was her ex- boyfriend. Rodriguez is being held in the Erie County Prison.
Another Pizza Hut employee was shot at the same time as Stalheim, she did survive, but vigil coordinators say it’s important to remember both victims of this violent crime. “We need to remember both victims because both were victims of violence and we need to remember we need to live a non-violent way of life,” said Betsy Wiest, social justice coordinator for the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Stalheim was killed inside of the Pizza Hut where she worked and some of her co-workers were at the vigil. I spoke with the management at Pizza Hut, they were very grateful that we were coming here today because not only is this a first step in helping the community rebuild and live non-violently. But it’s also helping them to move forward in a peaceful manner,” Wiest added.
The East 38th Street Pizza Hut remains closed following the shooting but ownership is hoping to reopen in February. In a statement from Atlantic Development which owns the restaurant, President Greg Davis said, “we are grateful for the outpouring of support for Alicia, her family, and our team members during this difficult time. We love the Erie area and remain committed to our people and customers.”