ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico – Family and friends gathered Saturday to remember the man they call a hero.
Police say Michael Urioste, 24, was killed at a northeast Albuquerque gas station in February 2023 after he stepped in to help a stranger.
“In my eyes, Michael was the true embodiment of what a hero is,” said Vincent Ontiveros.
Vincent Ontiveros is the owner of Bask Bath and Suga Suga on Albuquerque’s Westside, and he was the host of a special event on Saturday.
“I want to do this as a memorial to show, to bring awareness that you know people, that there are bad people out there, and people like that, if you know that this guy is still in prison for his many other crimes, Michael will be all still be here,” said Ontiveros.
Michael’s family and Ontiveros organized a car show in memory of Uriosto.
“I’ve been a police officer for 11 years and every time I’ve seen this, there’s a young man who literally puts his life on the line for someone else, which is absolutely amazing – it just tugs at my heartstrings,” Ontiveros said.
Police say Eric Ford shot and killed Michael at a gas station last month.
Michael is said to have rushed to the aid of a gas station clerk after she was hit by a Ford. He and Ford then began fighting in the street before Ford shot him dead.
On Saturday, the grieving family just wanted to honor their hero with something he loved.
“We really appreciate you guys coming, he’s really into the whole car scene and loves all kinds of cars and motorcycles and really anything that has an engine and goes fast,” said Lena Urioste, Michael’s sister.
They were helped by cars from the west side and the organizer of the coffee, who even brought his car.
Ontiveros says all of the dealership’s businesses donate a portion of their proceeds to the family. They hope to make this an annual event to honor their Good Samaritan.
“He is a hero and I will say that over and over again. I will say this until the day I die, Ontiveros said.