Local man shot, killed in theater shooting

Published: Friday, July 20, 2012 @ 10:21 AM
Updated: Friday, July 20, 2012 @ 11:57 AM

            Samantha Yowler and Matt McQuinn
Samantha Yowler and Matt McQuinn(submitted)

In the chaos of one of the largest mass shootings in U.S. history, one local woman’s boyfriend was killed at a Colorado movie theater.

The boyfriend shielded her. The woman suffered a bullet wound to the leg while her brother escaped physically unharmed.

Siblings Samantha and Nick Yowler — both former St. Paris residents — were watching The Dark Knight Rises at a theater in Aurora, Colo., with her boyfriend Matt McQuinn when James Eagen Holmes reportedly kicked in an exit door, released canisters of pepper spray and opened fire.

At least 59 people were injured and 12 were killed, including McQuinn, a Vandalia-Butler graduate whose Springfield family agonized for hours Friday without knowing if he had survived or where he was.

He and Nick Yowler tried to shield Samantha Yowler with their bodies, according to the Yowlers’ grandmother, Elsie Windle of St. Paris. Nick Yowler called his mother, Ann Massie, at 3:30 a.m. to tell his family about the shooting.

“It’s been a difficult morning,” stepfather Scott Massie, the St. Paris fire chief, said Friday morning, his voice shaking before his wife boarded a plane to fly to Colorado.

Scott Massie said he spoke to his stepchildren while they were at the scene.

“Just total chaos,” he said of the reports they gave and what he heard. “Disbelief. Shock.”

Samantha Yowler underwent surgery and was reported in fair condition Friday.

Matt McQuinn’s family tried all Friday to find any information about his condition.

Springfield resident Stacie McQuinn, Matt’s stepmother, said the hospital would not confirm to Samantha Yowler what happened to him because they are not related.

“It’s minute by minute,” said Stacie McQuinn as she waited on a telephone update from his mother, Jerri Jackson, who traveled to Aurora Friday to find out what happened.

By Friday evening, the families retained attorney Rob Scott to speak for them.

“Both the Yowler and McQuinn families thank everyone for their concerns, thoughts and prayers during this difficult time,” Scott said. “The families ask for everyone to be patient and respect their wishes during this very difficult time.”

Samantha Yowler is a 2004 graduate of Graham High School, where she was in National Honor Society, earned a KTH Scholarship, was a blood donor and was involved in the high school’s Special Wish program. She attended Ohio State University until 2007.

She met Matt McQuinn, a member of Maiden Lane Church who graduated from Vandalia-Butler High School in 2004, at the Springfield Target store. Target officials declined to comment.

The two transferred to a Target in Denver, Colo., in November last year. Nick Yowler had already lived in Colorado for several years, said his grandmother, Windle.

“Samantha had moved out there last November” after her brother’s divorce, she added.

At Vandalia-Butler, Matt McQuinn was part of the Occupational World Experience program, where students attend classes for a minimum of three periods a day, then work the rest of the day at a job.

“I learned how to hold a job,” he said in his 2004 senior yearbook.

Before she left, Samantha Yowler was well known in the St. Paris neighborhood where she grew up.

“She was just very, very caring. She has a lot of friends,” said Talia Kauffman-Diaz, who grew up with Samantha and lived next door to the family as a child.

Diaz, who lives in St. Paris, was with Samantha Yowler from elementary school through high school graduation in 2004. Diaz said their families were very close, and a group of friends from the neighborhood all spent time together.

“She was there for me when my parents divorced, and I was there for her when she needed me,” said Diaz, who said she didn’t know Matt McQuinn well.

Diaz said there’s nothing organized yet, but she has been trying to get in touch with other childhood friends and with the Yowlers to determine what to do to help.

“It’s just, how shocking it is to come from this small town and have someone so loving and caring have something so tragic happen,” Diaz said.

Samantha Yowler and Matt McQuinn are popular in their new home in Colorado as well. Her Facebook page was full of wall posts wishing the best for the couple from people in Ohio and Colorado.

“They’re really fun people, we always go out together,” said Melissa Downen, a Colorado co-worker and friend to the couple. She said they’ve worked at Target for about six months. Downen added that everyone working there is consumed with worry over the couple.

“Everyone here is really close, and they really integrated well with the Target family,” she said.

People in the village of St. Paris reacted with shock to the news and reached for note cards to offer comfort to the family.

“You don’t feel a connection to this area, and then it really hits you,” Teresa Roberts said while having lunch with husband, Ken, at C.J.’s Pizzeria on Main Street.

“Another maniac out there,” said a customer in the Howard’s IGA in St. Paris, where store manager Mike Townsend said that before learning of the local connection “the one thing was worried was it was a terrorist.”

“This is awful and scary,” said Cheri Howard, who was treating two grandsons to ice cream at Howard’s Dairy Barn. “All these people did was go to a movie. It could have happened in Springfield. It could have happened in Urbana, I suppose. It makes you afraid to let your teenagers go to a movie,” she said.

Springfield, following a presidential proclamation released by the White House from President Barack Obama, will fly flags at half-staff until sunset on Wednesday to honor of the victims of the tragedy.

“It’s a very tragic event that’s taken place in Colorado, and we wanted to show our support as a community,” said Springfield city manager Jim Bodenmiller.

Wire reports and staff writers Michael Cooper, Marc Katz and Mark McGregor contributed to this story.

Power restored to most after 24 hours of severe weather

Published: Saturday, July 22, 2017 @ 6:45 AM
Updated: Saturday, July 22, 2017 @ 6:45 PM

Outages due to Saturday storms

PHOTOS: Severe weather causes damage in the Miami Valley

UPDATE @ 6:45 p.m.

From its height of more than 22,000 Dayton Power and Light customers without power, only a handful are without service as of early evening on Saturday.

RELATED: Overnight storm destroys new outbuilding in Clark County

Efforts to restore power resulted in more than 400 DP&L line crews being deployed in the field, according to DP&L.

RELATED: More storms expected this evening

UPDATE @ 12:15 p.m.

Strong storms in the past 24 hours have wreaked havoc in the Miami Valley, causing damage to trees and property and knocking power out to tens of thousands of people.

Since Friday morning, there have been more than 22,000 Dayton Power and Light customers without power, according to a DP&L spokesperson.

By late Saturday morning, all but about 600 had been restored, and those remaining outages are tied to 76 “trouble calls,” mostly in the Dayton metro area, according to DP&L.

Efforts to restore power resulted in more than 400 DP&L line crews being deployed in the field, according to DP&L.

About 37 customers in Huber Heights have been without power since Friday morning when a large tree came down, snapping a utility pole and bringing down power lines.

DP&L reports crews are working to replace the pole and power should be restored by late this afternoon.

UPDATE @ 11:24 a.m.

Power remains out for more than a thousand residents in the Miami Valley, primarily in Montgomery, Mercer, Greene and Clark counties.

Dayton Power and Light (outages by county)

613: Montgomery 

344: Mercer 

173: Greene

Ohio Edison First Energy 

451: Clark

Duke Energy

84: Butler

UPDATE @ 8:27 a.m.

Power has been restored to all but 5 homes in Preble County while over 700 remain without electricity in Montgomery County, according to a DP&L outage map. 

A series of strong storms that moved through the West Alexandria area in Preble County are responsible for the outages, according to DP&L Director of Operations Kevin Hall. 

MORE: Area Power Outages

Downed trees and wind damage have caused similar outages in Miami, Greene and Clark Counties. 

“We have crews continuing to clean up from storms since yesterday,” Hall said. “We’ve been in storms operation mode attempting to restore power.”

Ohio Edison reports 751 homes are without power in Clark County as a result of storm damage.

RELATED: WHIO Interactive Radar

Hall did not advise when crews would have all power restored.

A downed tree can be seen in the 2900 block of Brewster Court in Springfield Saturday morning. (Angie Hess/Contributed)

UPDATE @ 7:24 a.m.

Another 120 homes in Clark County are without power, according to an Ohio Edison outage map. 

MORE: Stormy start to weekend

Downed tree limbs and wind damage have been reported in Springfield near Providence Road. 

Additional power outages have been reported in Montgomery County with DP&L reporting 561 outages. 

RELATED: Increased threat for showers, storms this weekend

1,600 homes remain in the dark in Preble County. 

We are working to learn what power crews are doing to restore service following Saturday morning's severe weather.

A mangled shed can be seen in the front yard of this Springfield home near Providence Road. (Robert Yontz/Contributed)


Nearly 1,600 Preble County homes are without power following severe weather Saturday morning, according to a DP&L outage map. 

A DP&L representative could not be reached for comment, but multiple downed trees have been reported in the county. 

Another 570 outages are reported in Clark County, according to Ohio Edison. 

141 DP&L customers living in Montgomery County are without power, while another 208 are without in Miami County. 

RELATED: Stormy start to weekend 

We are continuing to monitor power outages and damage reports as severe weather makes its way through the Miami Valley Saturday morning.

Firefighters smoke the competition at Hunks and Ladders challenge

Published: Saturday, July 22, 2017 @ 10:03 PM

Firefighters pull a 165-pound dummy to simulate rescuing a person during the Hunks and Ladders Firefighter Combat Challenge Saturday, July 22, 2017, at The Greene in Beavercreek.
Firefighters pull a 165-pound dummy to simulate rescuing a person during the Hunks and Ladders Firefighter Combat Challenge Saturday, July 22, 2017, at The Greene in Beavercreek.(DeANGELO BYRD / STAFF)

It got smokin’ hot this afternoon at The Greene during the Hunks and Ladders Firefighter Combat Challenge in Beavercreek.

Firefighters from across the region flexed their muscles and tested their strength and endurance during the competition; feats included pulling a 165-pound dummy 75 feet. The 30th anniversary challenge was all to earn a coveted spot in the upcoming 2017-18 Hunks and Ladders calendar. 

WATCH: Firefighters in Xenia rescue squirrel from lawnmower

After the challenge, the event featured live music, and an after party through 2 a.m. at Bar Louie at The Greene, 4492 Glengarry Drive. 

Proceeds from calendar sales benefit the Miami Valley Firefighter/EMS Memorial; A Special Wish Foundation and the Pink Ribbon Foundation. 

RELATED: Springfield fire cadets train in the hot seat

"We got the Keiser (Force Machine) sled to simulate breaching a door or a roof to ventilate it. We got the dummy drag to simulate rescuing someone, the hose carry to simulate what it's like on the ground," said Jake Preston, an emergency recovery coordinator at Paul Davis, a recovery, reconstruction and restoration company and one of the Hunks and Ladders sponsors.

VIDEO: BBB releases ‘Torch’ the rescued falcon back into Dayton sky

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

WATCH: BBB releases rescued falcon in Dayton

A young American Kestrel falcon that was disoriented from rain storms earlier this month is flying high again in downtown Dayton after it was rescued by members of the Better Business Bureau serving Dayton and the Miami Valley. 

The BBB staff was having lunch at a downtown restaurant on July 6 and the falcon, which they nicknamed Torch based on their logo, was perched on a window ledge and trying to get in. 

MORE: Glen Helen Raptor Center success stories

After getting advice from the Raptor Center at Glen Helen, BBB President John North and others delivered the distressed bird to the raptor center, where it was cared for over a period of two weeks. The staff at the Raptor Center told the BBB staff the bird was hungry, waterlogged and disoriented after rain storms.

MORE: Plastic surgery for dogs, cats a growing trend

The BBB staff on July 20 posted video on Facebook of the falcon being released near Fifth Third Field, where it is familiar with the surroundings and where its parents likely live. 

The video shows the bird fly out of a small cardboard box after a little prodding from North and others. 

North said in a prepared statement that the BBB always tries to go "above and beyond the call of duty in our community." 

MORE: Cats rescued in Middletown nursed back to health, ready for adoption

"This event was an unexpected surprise," North statement reads. "We're excited to be a part of lending aid to Torch and look forward to watching the falcon soar high over Dayton just as our BBB Accredited Businesses hold their own torches high for ethics in our community."

Overnight storm destroys new outbuilding near South Charleston

Published: Saturday, July 22, 2017 @ 12:04 PM

Interview with Steve Gladman. The wind picked up a small building on his property and DAMAGE lawn equipment

A storm passing through early this morning knocked down trees and ripped apart an outbuilding near South Charleston. Meanwhile, about three dozen residents in Huber Heights are waiting to have power restored after a storm brought down a large tree and snapped a utility pole Friday morning.

MORE: 2 of 6 tornadoes on ground at same time during May storm

Steve Gladman, who lives in the 5700 block of Platsburg Road near South Charleston, he heard the storm move in during the pre-dawn hours and heard something hit the house. When he walked outside at daybreak, a large tree was down across his driveway and a recently bought outbuilding being used to store lawnmowers and power equipment was in splinters.

MORE: Power restored to most after 24 hours of severe weather

"I looked in the back and there was a pile of rubble back there. I looked a little closer and realized that was my new building," Gladman said.

MORE: Strong storms still possible this afternoon, evening

The damage to the building has to stay put until his insurance company comes out to assess the damages, which isn’t expected to happen until Tuesday, according to the homeowner.

Strong storms in the past 24 hours knocked power out to more than 20,000 DP&L customers. All but about 600 have been restored as of Saturday morning, according to a DP&L spokesperson.

In Clark County, 451 First Energy customers remain without power.

About 37 DP&L customers in Huber Heights were among the last remaining outages Saturday. Those living near the 6900 block of Shellcross Drive are seeing A DP&L crew working to replace the utility pole.

Debris from a large tree that came down is strewn about the backyard of the home where it came down.

Barring any more severe weather today, DP&L expects to restore power to those customers, and hundreds of others in Montgomery County, by this evening. 

RAW: Tree down in Huber Heights