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

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.

Harrison Twp. fires crews battling fully engulfed house fire

Published: Sunday, April 23, 2017 @ 12:33 AM

Harrison Twp. fire crews are battling a fully engulfed house fire Sunday morning. 

Firefighters were sent to the 600 block of Syracuse Avenue around 12:22 a.m. 

Initial reports indicate crews arrived to find a house in the area fully engulfed in flames.

A portion of Syracuse Avenue remains closed as crews work the scene, according to scanner traffic.

We will continue to monitor this developing story and post updates to this page.

Roof reportedly collapses at Greene County home as crews battle fire

Published: Sunday, April 23, 2017 @ 1:12 AM

The roof of a Greene County house has reportedly collapsed as fire crews battle a house fire Sunday morning. 

Crews were dispatched to the 3800 block of Wilberforce-Clifton Road outside of Clifton around 12:55 a.m. 

The fire was originally reported in a garage shortly before flames were reported coming from the roof of a house. 

Initial reports indicate the roof of the house has collapsed and crews ancountered heavy flames upon arrival. 

We will continue to follow this developing story.

Daytime burglars steal thousands in guns, electronics from Dayton home

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 11:37 PM

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A man returned home from work Friday evening to find his doors unlocked and thousands of dollars in electronics, weapons and cash missing.

Police were called around 5:30 p.m. to the 1800 block of East Fifth Street in Dayton on a report of a daytime burglary. The suspect or suspects are believed to have entered through a side window on the first floor, which was broken, according to a Dayton police report. 

Items stolen include a small fireproof safe containing $3,800; four flat-screen televisions and other electronics, including an Xbox, DVD player, sound bar and cable boxes.

Weapons also were taken, including two collector knives and 12 guns: a 9mm Glock, two 44mm Rugers, a silver 40mm Smith & Wesson, four rifles and four shotguns, the report stated. 

The value of the stolen items is in excess of $10,000 during the burglary in broad daylight. A crew was requested to the home to try to find evidence leading to a suspect or suspects.

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Dayton man tells police he has no idea why neighbor attacks, stabs him in alley

Published: Saturday, April 22, 2017 @ 5:01 PM

A 29-year-old Dayton man said a neighbor attacked and stabbed him Friday afternoon in an alley but he didn't know why.

Police were called around 3:40 p.m. to the 20 block of Ridge Avenue, where the victim was with medics. He suffered a stab wound to his left arm, a cut on his right hand and a cut to his left eye and some head injuries, according to a Dayton police report.

The victim initially said he didn’t know who attacked him and said he tried to fight back until his girlfriend told him the man had a weapon, described as a small folding pocket knife. He and his girlfriend then ran home, and that’s when he realized he had been stabbed, according to a Dayton police report.

Medics took the victim to Grandview Medical Center, where he admitted his attacker was a man in his 50s who lives in the same block. He told police he lied because he feared retaliation and didn’t want to press charges, according to the report.

No arrests were made and the incident remains under investigation.

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