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
            submitted
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.

Eye damage from eclipse can show later: What you need to know

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 3:13 PM
Updated: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 3:32 PM

Eclipse Glasses at Lincoln Elementary. Bill Lackey/Staff
Eclipse Glasses at Lincoln Elementary. Bill Lackey/Staff

If you damaged your eyes during the eclipse it might take a while before you see symptoms.

The first full solar eclipse in 99 years happened this afternoon, and residents across the Dayton region came out to watch the event.

Those who didn’t use certified eclipse viewing glasses or alternative methods like a pinhole projector risked injuring their eyes and possible permanent damage.

RELATED: Multiple schools close because of eclipse

But it might take a while for that damage to show. Dr. Brian Pennington, emergency room physician with Sycamore Medical Center said he hadn’t seen any patients yet with injuries related to the eclipse as of Monday afternoon, but the symptoms tend to be delayed with showing.

LOCAL NEWS: Judge shot, wounded outside Ohio courthouse

“It does take about anywhere from eight to 12 hours after the initial exposure to really develop the symptoms,” he said.

RELATED: What not to do the day of and during the total solar eclipse

He said with the sun partially obscured, people can stand looking at the sun for longer, which can lead to someone staring at the sun long enough to cause temporary or permanent damage. Some symptoms could be feeling like there is a foreign object in your eye, redness, dryness, pain or even loss of vision.

A spokeswoman with Miami Valley Hospital said the only person the Premier-affiliated hospital’s ER saw related to the eclipse was someone who had fallen during the event. She said it can take up to 24 hours to see the affects of staring up at the eclipse.

Prior to the eclipse, local doctors warned that residents should proceed with caution and use proper eye protection when looking up at the sun durin the event.

Dr. Amina Husain, with Premier Eye Surgeons, said even with protective glasses, she said it’s not recommended you look too long at the eclipse.

“You can theoretically burn your retina and potentially go blind and that’s a big complication,” said Husain.

Dr. Barry Gridley, who practices at Eye Care Locale in downtown Dayton and Wing Eyecare at Austin Landing, said even on a regular day, he still sometimes sees patients with damage from looking right at the sun.

“Your retina is protein and heat fries protein and there’s nothing we can do to restore it,” Gridley said.

Fatal crash: Greenon High School, Global Impact STEM Academy to reopen today after death of 2 students

Published: Sunday, August 20, 2017 @ 4:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 @ 2:08 AM

Friends, teachers remember 2 Clark County students killed in crash

Two Clark County high school students killed in Sunday’s rollover crash in Greene County were not wearing seat belts, Ohio State Highway Patrol officials said in a statement.

LOCAL NEWS: U.S. 35 E crash kills one in Dayton

  • Killed were David Waag, 17, of Beavercreek, and Connor Williams, 15, of Fairborn
  • A vigil at Greenon High School was planned for Monday night
  • Alcohol and drugs do not appear to be factors, according to the state patrol.

LOCAL NEWS: Man, 51, killed in Clark County crash

"A lot of people are hurting still"

The tight-knit Greenon schools community is continuing to grieve the loss of the two high school athletes killed in Sunday’s crash.

"A lot of people are hurting still," Greenon Superintendent Brad Silvus said. "But they are rallying around each other and supporting both families and also the families of those that were able to survive."

Counselors are being made available to help students and staff members at the two Clark County schools where two teenagers killed in Sunday’s rollover crash on Wilkerson Road were students.

Both schools were closed Monday as a result of Williams and David Waag’s deaths.

Williams was a sophomore at Global Impact STEM Academy in Springfield. Director Joshua Jennings said area districts have offered to help provide grief counselors.

Global Impact Stem Academy closed after student dies in crash

"Our school counselors will be able to be here ... for [students] to talk to and work out the grieving process that they may be going through collectively as a school or individually,” Jennings said. “ In addition to that, we've been in contact with a number of surrounding districts who are willing to send out their counselors as well and trained professionals to be able to add additional support where needed.”

Counselors are also being made available at Greenon High School, where David Waag was a senior. Greenon High was closed Monday but counselors were made available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The students

Waag, a senior soccer player, last year was second-team All-Central Buckeye Conference Mad River Division as a junior. Williams played football and attended Global Impact STEM Academy.Greenon Athletic Director Adam Billet said he was not ready to comment, but said “they were great kids.”The district had activities in place for the eclipse, but district spokeswoman said that with the deaths of two students in the tight-knit community it would be too much of a strain on the staff.

Troopers release crash details

Trey Blevins, 18, of Enon, was driving a black 2005 Toyota Corolla that went off the right side of Wilkerson Road between Fairborn and Yellow Springs, the state patrol said in a statement released early Monday.

“It appears in our investigation that they drifted off the right side of the road, over-corrected, went off the left side, hit a tree and then overturned,” said Sgt. Paul Lezotte of the Xenia Post.

Blevins, who was wearing a seat belt, was taken to Soin Medical Center suffering from minor injuries. 

READ: Local news from the Miami Valley

The right front passenger, Zach Knauer, 17, of Springfield, was also wearing a seat belt. He was taken to Soin for observation. 

Waag and Williams were in the back seat. They died at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation. No charges have been filed.

LOCAL NEWS: What you need to know about the 2017 solar eclipse

The vigil

Community members came together Sunday night at the Greenon High School football field to grieve the loss of the boys. Some brought candles, others illuminated cellphones to light the night in honor of Waag and Williams.

School closings

Greenon High School announced the school would be closed Monday, but counselors will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to a social media post.

“After careful consideration of our need to support our students during this difficult time and protect all students during tomorrow’s solar eclipse, we are cancelling school so that we can ensure the safety and emotional well-being of all students and staff.”

Officials at Global Impact STEM Academy also decided to close the school Monday. School officials sent out a “One Call” phone message and posted on social media to alert families.

Centerville City council approves 2 housing developments

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 4:32 PM


            An artist’s rendering of an exterior view of the proposed Gateway Lofts at Chardonnay Drive in Centerville.
            CONTRIBUTED
An artist’s rendering of an exterior view of the proposed Gateway Lofts at Chardonnay Drive in Centerville.(CONTRIBUTED)

Centerville City Council on Monday night approved plans for two residential communities.

RELATED: $15M housing development proposed at Centerville’s Yankee Trace

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Savannah Place, a $15 million, 44-unit housing development at Yankee Trace, was first presented to council for preliminary approval in March. Monday night, developer Charlie Simms of Charles Simms Development was approved for final plans for the 14-acre plot along Yankee Street.

Simms said if everything goes according to plan, construction could begin this year.

MORE: City approves more than $60M in residential developments

Council also approved preliminary plans for Gateway Lofts, a 396-unit development along Chardonnay Drive off Alex-Bell Road.

Project developers made major revisions to their plans after discovering a large amount of bedrock on the 38.7-acres for the proposed apartment complex.

RELATED: Plans for residential development approved again after major changes

In June, developer Hallmark Campus Communities had its plans re-approved by planning commission.

Developers for the Gateway lofts will have to submit final development plans to the planning commission and council again in the coming months before any building permits can be submitted.

State fire marshal called to scene of Shelby Co. church fire

Published: Monday, August 21, 2017 @ 7:35 PM

The state fire marshal is investigating a church fire in Shelby County Monday evening, according to the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.

Multiple fire crews are responding to the fire at Greenview United Church of Christ first reported around 5:20 p.m. in the 3000 block of Leatherwood Creek Road. 

Dispatchers said no one was injured in the fire, but could not confirm if the fire was considered suspicious. 

Fire units from Fletcher, Rosewood and Sidney assisted Port Jefferson firefighters at the church sitting about 8 miles southeast of Sidney. 

Our newsroom is working to learn more and confirm details in this developing story.

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