MILLINOCKET — Local resident Cameron Pelkey worked for years at the McDonald’s in town and became part of a close-knit work family.
The 23-year-old was shot back in March and died four days later.
“It’s been months but it’s still really hard on people,” said Jenny Naaykens, a former co-worker and manager of the fast food restaurant. “Everyone around him loved him. He was just a happy guy who wanted to make sure everybody was happy around him.”
Another former co-worker, Maecie Lavoie, said Pelkey was one of her best friends.
“I think I’m still kind of processing it ’cause he was suppose to work with me that day, actually, and I got mad because he didn’t show up for work. And then on my break I drove by and I saw what was happening,” she said Wednesday.
Lavoie was seven months pregnant at the time of his death and named her son in his honor.
“This is Cameron. I named him after Cameron. He was going to be Wyatt but when we found out what happened I decided I wanted to, I don’t know, cherish Cam a little bit,” she said.
“It makes me feel like he’s still here,” Lavoie added. “It’s still not real to me that he’s gone. I still expect to see him come around the corner at work.”
After the shooting, 45-year-old Bangor resident Jason Mulligan was initially charged with aggravated attempted murder. His bail was set at $100,000 surety or $50,000 cash.
After Pelkey died, the charge was dropped to manslaughter. Now, eight months later, Mulligan is heading back into court Thursday to ask to be released until his trial.
“The investigation that they had kind of like shut off and that was that,” Naaykens said.
She added, “It would be nice to have answers because it’s hard. I feel like it’s harder on the people who were close to him when you don’t have the answers. They don’t really know or understand what happened.”
The Maine State Police Tactical Team was called when Mulligan barricaded himself inside a home at 298 Penobscot Ave. on March 15. Pelkey, along with a man and woman, were rescued from the home after the tactical team entered it around 8 p.m., according to a state police press release. The man and woman freed were not injured, it said.
The only other information made public is the medical examiner determined Pelkey died of a single gunshot wound.
According to his obituary, Pelkey donated his organs “so that others may live.”
Pelkey’s mother said Wednesday that three families benefited and they are all doing great. She said she got his actual heartbeat, provided to her by hospital staff during his last days, tattooed on her wrist.
“He was an amazing person and he did not deserve this,” Naaykens said.