GROTON -- It's been just over two months since Joey Gingerella was shot to death outside of Ryan's Pub in Groton, as he came to the aid of the woman, who was allegedly being beaten by her boyfriend. But, his spirit lives on thanks to a friend.
"Joey was a person that I called when things were really good or really bad," said Ashley Shaw Giorodano. She and Gingerella were friends through addiction recovery. She saw a way to keep his memory alive through a Facebook group that had a worldwide audience.
"So I figured with everybody right there at my fingertips, it was the best opportunity to tell Joey's story," she said. "To let the world know he lived and died a hero."
She asked people in the Facebook group to complete the phrase "Joey Gingerella lived and died a hero and we know that in....." Then, Facebook friends would write where in the world they were located, take a picture, and send it to Ashley.
Pictures accompanied by the phrase came in from all around the world, including from one of his classmates, Darryl Singletary, who is stationed in Kuwait.
With these pictures, Ashley created an album for Gingerella's family. Gingerella's mother gave Ashley her blessing to post the pictures on Facebook and YouTube.
"I can't even begin to explain the healing that started at that moment," said Tammy de la Cruz, Joey's mother. "She is like filling the void that I have right now with Joey."
The man accused of killing Joey was captured at the Canadian border.