Beneath McQuinn’s edginess lived ‘a golden retriever’

Published: Saturday, July 28, 2012 @ 3:23 PM
Updated: Saturday, July 28, 2012 @ 3:23 PM


            
            Barbara J. Perenic
(Barbara J. Perenic)

Behind Matt McQuinn’s sunglasses, behind the edgy, pierced look he showed to the world was a man with a mischievous sense of humor and a golden retriever’s warmth, his uncle told a memorial service Saturday morning at Springfield’s Maiden Lane Church of God.

Pastor Herb Shaffer said his 27-year-old nephew called the oversized shades he pushed up on his head his “man tiara,” an anecdote that spoke about the person whose striking eyes and mugging demeanor have been seen on broadcasts and in newspapers since July 20, when McQuinn died saving his girlfriend from a slaughter in an Aurora, Colo., multiplex.

Steps away from her boyfriend’s edgily dressed body, Samantha Yowler, of St. Paris, rested her wounded leg on a chair during the ceremony that gave way to an 80-car procession to Lawrenceville Cemetery, where McQuinn was buried.

The Vandalia Butler High School graduate was killed by three gunshot wounds he suffered as he shielded Yowler during the attack that killed 12 and wounded 52.

“In moments of crisis, the true character of a person comes out,” said Shaffer, a brother of McQuinn’s mother, Jerri Jackson, of Springfield. “You don’t have time to think of what you’re going to do.”

McQuinn’s “immediate response,” said Shaffer, “was to protect the one he loved.”

Shaffer and Maiden Lane Pastor Mark Martin cast McQuinn’s self-sacrifice in context with two Biblical passages, one from Galatians saying the only things of lasting value involve “faith expressing itself in love” and another from the Gospel of John stating that “no greater love has one man than this: that he laid down his life for his friends.”

“We didn’t just see that (from McQuinn) on July 20,” Shaffer said.

With a family photo on a screen, Shaffer pointed out McQuinn as a child comforting his cousin, Amber, who was having a bad day when the families were out on a hike.

“Even at 7 years old, Matt … could pick up on that kind of thing,” Shaffer said.

He added that, as a young man, his nephew sometimes dressed in a way that “made you want to cross to the other side of the street. But then he opened up his mouth, and he couldn’t betray who he was.”

McQuinn teased those he loved mercilessly and “you never knew what he was going to say,” Shaffer said. “He was the only one I’ve ever seen who could speak to my dad the way he did and get away with it.”

The reason, he said, was that there was “never any malice” in McQuinn, only “a contagious enjoyment of life” and “an exuberance … that added value to others’ lives.”

“Underneath there,” said Shaffer, “(was) a golden retriever.”

Telling grieving friends and relatives “there are no easy answers” and that “this is not the time for platitudes,” Shaffer advised that “the only way to the other side of grief is through it.”

“We cannot do it alone,” he added. “So let’s make a commitment to one another to embrace the pain of saying goodbye today, to feel it together, to cry together to laugh together, to be angry together.”

“Our lives will never be the same,” he said. “The words Aurora, Cinema 16 shooting, Batman, will never mean the same again,” he added, and likely will serve as reminders of the hurt.

But with time, he said, “it will be good again” and “the very things that cause us pain now will become brighter and stronger and better for the rest of our lives.”

All who knew McQuinn “live with a commitment to be better because of his sacrifice,” said Shaffer, who urged his audience “to pray for those who are left … pray for the families that are left and … be better people.”

Outside the church, the media kept a respectful distance, and in the balcony of the church a reporter from the Denver Post said the entire Denver community has grieved.

“This has torn us up,” said Ray Rinaldi.

Pastor Martin thanked those who “have given of our time, given of yourselves” in offering comfort to the family and those who contributed to the church’s fund to help in the expenses of McQuinn’s burial.

‘I just fired one': 84-year-old man shoots, kills home intruder

Published: Friday, December 08, 2017 @ 10:59 AM

Intruder Killed By 85-Year-Old Man

An elderly man shot and killed one of two intruders at his home early Friday morning in Ellport, Lawrence County, police said.

The 84-year-old man, Don Lutz, was confronted by the intruders about 1:30 a.m. at his Jamison Avenue home, authorities said. An altercation followed.

>>RAW VIDEO: Man describes home invasion shooting

“I just fired one. It was in the dark. He attacked me and he was up close and I shot him,” Lutz said. “They jumped me and we both went on the floor. I scuffled with them on the floor and the one guy rolled over dead and the other guy, he jumped up and went out the door.”

Police investigate after an 85-year-old man's home was broken into. Police said that the man shot and killed one of the intruders. The other ran off.(WPXI.com)

>> Read more trending news 

Police are searching for the second intruder who ran off.

“The other one, maybe the bullet hit him, too. I don’t know. I hope so,” Lutz said.

Lutz said he keeps his gun under his pillow. He’s a little sore, but otherwise in good spirits after the ordeal.

Investigators believe Lutz might have been targeted.

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Intruder killed by 84-year-old man was family member

Published: Saturday, December 09, 2017 @ 10:40 PM

Elderly Man Kills Intruder Who Was A Family Member

The intruder shot and killed by an elderly homeowner in Lawrence County early Friday morning has been identified as the shooter's nephew-in-law. 

>> Read more trending news

Investigators told Channel 11 the man has been identified as Dennis Mercadante, 49.

Mercadante was identified by using facial recognition by Pennsylvania State Police. 

Investigators said Don Lutz, 84, was confronted by two intruders, Mercadante and another suspect, at about 1:30 a.m. Friday at his Jamison Avenue home, and an altercation followed.

“I just fired one. It was in the dark. He attacked me and he was up close and I shot him,” Lutz said.

“They jumped me and we both went on the floor. I scuffled with them on the floor and the one guy rolled over dead and the other guy, he jumped up and went out the door.”

Police are still searching for the second suspect, who ran off. 

“The other one, maybe the bullet hit him, too. I don’t know. I hope so,” Lutz said.

Car crashes, strikes home in Dayton; driver flees

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 9:23 PM
Updated: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 9:41 PM

Car on its top Video

UPDATE @9:42 p.m.

A woman said she was inside her home watching television with her family when they heard tires squealing and a crash.

A car struck the house in the 800 block of Osmond Drive around 8:50 p.m.

No one in the house was injured. 

FIRST REPORT

Crews are investigating a rollover crash in Dayton.

The crash was reported around 8:50 p.m. in the 800 block of Osmond Avenue. The car came to a rest on its top next to a house.

>> Child survives double fatal crash in Greene County; Victims identified

It’s unknown if anyone was injured.

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

911 call: Woman’s shooting death was accidental

Published: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 3:22 AM
Updated: Sunday, December 10, 2017 @ 9:28 PM

Woman's death investigated as homicide

UPDATE @9:30 p.m.

In a 911 call, a caller stated a gun accidentally went off, and a woman had been hit.

“We were trying to unload this gun, and it went off, and it hit her in the shoulder,” the 911 caller states.

A dispatcher asked the caller if it was an accident, and the 911 caller said it was.

>> TRENDING: Child survives double fatal crash in Greene County; victims identified 

The victim, Eileen Jones, 30, was taken to Miami Valley Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The coroner’s office said an official ruling has not been made, but a Dayton police report lists the dead as a felony homicide/murder investigation.

We are working to learn if a suspect has been taken into custody. 

This story will be updated as we learn more.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

UPDATE @ 12:30 p.m.

The death of a 30-year-old Dayton woman is a homicide, Dayton police said.

The shooting was reported around 1 a.m. in the 600 block of West Fairview Avenue.

The victim, who was pronounced dead at Miami Valley Hospital, has been identified as Eileen Jones.

There is no information about a suspect or whether any arrests have been made.

FIRST REPORT

There has been a reported shooting in the 600 block of West Fairview Avenue, per initial reports.

Crews were dispatched to the incident  just before 3 a.m. on Sunday.

We have a crew on the way to the scene and are working to learn more details.