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

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.

Fire destroys barn in Darke County

Published: Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 3:47 AM

BluebagMedia/Contributed

A fire destroyed a barn in Darke County early Monday morning.

The fire in the 6500 block of Ohio 242 was reported shortly after 2 a.m. Several tankers were called to the scene.

>> Hay bails on trailer ignite in Darke County

We’re working to find out what was inside the barn.

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

No fish tale: Centerville man catches 50-inch muskie

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 9:05 PM

Cole Menker of Centerville caught a 50-inch muskellunge

Wow! That’s a big fish.

Centerville resident Cole Menker caught this 50-inch muskellunge “muskie” Saturday morning at Caesar Creek State Park in Warren County.

“Haven’t caught a lot of musk in my life but he looks like he’s a high 40,” Menker said in a Facebook video on his page before catching the fish on an eight-pound line.

Menker was fishing with his brother C.J. Menker on their late mother’s birthday.

“She must have thrown one down from heaven,” Cole Menker said in his social media post.

The brothers have been fishing and hunting since they were young. On Saturday, they were practicing for an upcoming Mid-Ohio Saugeye Trail fish tournament when the muskie, a type of Pike, caught Menker’s hook.

After posing for pictures, Menker threw the fish back into the water.

Depsite Thunderbirds cancellation, Dayton Air Show thrills crowd

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 6:48 PM

Spectators came out for the 2017 Vectren Dayton Air Show on Sunday, despite a performance schedule cut short after the cancellation of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds act.

While the Thunderbirds did not fly Sunday, the 2017 show featured 10 other performances, air show organizers said — drawing large crowds under cloudless, blue skies on both Saturday and Sunday.

Plans for a jam-packed schedule, highlighted by several military acts, took a turn when a two-seat F-16 Thunderbird jet overturned at the airport after landing Friday. The mishap trapped the pilot and passenger until they were freed by first responders hours later. Both were hospitalized and reported in good condition. One team member has been released.

» RELATED: Thunderbirds will not perform Sunday at Vectren Dayton Air Show

The top attractions instead included a U.S. Air Force F-35 Heritage Flight and U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet demonstration along with Sean Tucker, Misty Blues All Woman Skydiving Team, GEICO Skytypers, Redline Airshows, Rob Holland Ultimate Air Shows, Suzuki Aerosports and a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the famous Doolittle Raid.

Thunderbirds Capt. Erik Gonsalves remains in Miami Valley Hospital after he was extricated from an F-16 that overturned on the runway Friday at the Dayton International Airport. Gonsalves Tweeted Saturday a picture of himself in the hospital bed stating, “Thanks for all the love and support. I’m doing okay. More to follow, I’m thankful for all our friendships.”

Dayton Aviation Director Terrence Slaybaugh said while he was disappointed by the Thunderbird’s absence, the top priority of the airport was ensuring the safety of the crowds and the performers.

» RELATED: Former F-16 pilot says wind likely factor in flip over

Slaybaugh said the mishap was a “best-case scenario,” with a quick response from emergency teams and no fatalities. The airport will work “arm in arm” with the military during its investigation into the accident. The Thunderbirds remained grounded for the entirety of the air show, aggravating some spectators.

Carol Shaw drove nearly three hours from her home in Coshocton, north of Zanesville, to watch the Vectren Dayton Air Show on Sunday. She said she was shocked to hear about the cancellation of the Thunderbirds performance, but would’ve come to the show regardless.

“I have to say I’m a little disappointed, but we’ve been coming here probably 20 years,” she said. “We like it better than the Cleveland air show.”

» RELATED: In close formation, reporter rides in squadron of vintage war planes

Chris Bruening, a Beavercreek resident, sat in a lawn chair and awaited the start of the performances. He attended the air show throughout childhood, and said he was particularly interested in seeing the pilots of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter take to the sky.

“The crowd does seem smaller this year,” he said.

Tens of thousands typically show up for the air show each year, however attendance records won’t be released until today. In 2016, an estimated 51,000 vistors came to watch aerial performances at the Dayton airport, and officials said attendance was impacted by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels cancellation. The Blue Angels did not perform last year after a fatal crash in Tennessee.

Bill Mangas, medical operations manager for the air show, said his team saw fewer medical emergencies this year compared to 2016. On Saturday, the team treated 17 patients and sent one to a local hospital. On Sunday, the team treated an estimated 36 patients by 3 p.m., and sent three of them to local hospitals. Mangas attributed the decline in medical emergencies to cooler temperatures.

“The breeze was definitely a life-saver,” he said.

» RELATED: What to eat and drink before or after Dayton Air Show

Highlights of the show included daring acts by the F-18 Super Hornet and the Redline aerobatic flight duo. Sean D. Tucker, who thrilled the crowd with his tight maneuvers and excessive speed, pulled G-force after G-force and talked through the speakers to the air show crowd.

This could very well be one of Tucker’s last solo appearances at the Dayton Air Show. Tucker, who flies the single-seat, 400-horsepower Oracle Challenger III biplane, said he will retire from solo flying after the 2018 air show season. He hopes to find a sponsor to launch a formation flying team as his next chapter in aviation takes center stage.

“I love Dayton, and I love sky dancing,” he shouted from the cockpit of his spinning aircraft.

Air Show thrills crowd despite Thunderbirds cancellation

Published: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 11:49 AM
Updated: Sunday, June 25, 2017 @ 4:39 PM

Spectators came out in hoards for the 2017 Vectren Dayton Air Show on Sunday, despite a performance schedule cut short after the cancellation of the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds act.

While Thunderbirds did not fly Sunday, the 2017 show featured 10 other performances, air show organizers said — drawing large crowds under cloudless, blue skies on both Saturday and Sunday.

Plans for a jam-packed schedule, highlighted by several military acts, took a turn when a two-seat F-16 Thunderbird jet overturned at the airport after landing Friday. The mishap trapped the pilot and passenger until they were freed by first responders hours later. Both were hospitalized and reported in good condition. One team member has been released.

» RELATED: Thunderbirds will not perform Sunday at Vectren Dayton Air Show

The top attractions instead included a U.S. Air Force F-35 Heritage Flight and U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet demonstration along with Sean Tucker, Misty Blues All Woman Skydiving Team, GEICO Skytypers, Redline Airshows, Rob Holland Ultimate Air Shows, Suzuki Aerosports and a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the famous Doolittle Raid.

Thunderbirds Capt. Erik Gonsalves remains a patient at Miami Valley Hospital after he was extricated from an F-16 that overturned on the runway Friday at the Dayton International Airport. Gonsalves Tweeted Saturday a picture of himself in the hospital bed stating, “Thanks for all the love and support. I’m doing okay. More to follow, I’m thankful for all our friendships.”

Aviation Director Terrence Slaybaugh said while he was disappointed by the Thunderbird’s absence, the top priority of the airport was ensuring the safety of the crowds and the performers.

“We’re obviously very disappointed they won’t fly,” he said. “We’ll get through it.”

» RELATED: Former F-16 pilot says wind likely factor in flip over

Slaybaugh said the mishap was a “best-case scenario,” with a quick response from emergency teams and no fatalities. The airport will work “arm in arm” with the military during its investigation into the accident. The Thunderbirds remained grounded for the entirety of the air show, aggravating some spectators.

Carol Shaw drove nearly three hours from her home in Coshocton, Ohio, to watch the Vectren Dayton Air Show on Sunday. She said she was shocked to hear about the cancellation of the Thunderbirds performance, but would’ve come to the show regardless.

“I have to say I’m a little disappointed, but we’ve been coming here probably 20 years,” she said. “We like it better than the Cleveland air show.”

» RELATED: In close formation, reporter rides in squadron of vintage war planes

Chris Bruening, a Beavercreek resident, sat in a lawn chair and awaited the start of the performances. He attended the air show throughout childhood, and said he was particularly interested in seeing the pilots of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter take to the sky.

“The crowd does seem smaller this year,” he said.

Tens of thousands typically show up for the air show each year, however attendance records won’t be released until Monday. In 2016, an estimated 51,000 vistors came to watch aerial performances at the Dayton airport, and officials said attendance was impacted by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels cancellation. The Blue Angels did not perform last year after a fatal crash in Tennessee.

Bill Mangas, medical operations manager for the air show, said his team saw fewer medical emergencies this year compared to 2016. On Saturday, the team treated 17 patients and sent one to a local hospital. On Sunday, the team treated an estimated 36 patients by 3 p.m., and sent three of them to local hospitals. Mangas attributed the decline in medical emergencies to cooler temperatures.

“The breeze was definitely a life-saver,” he said.

» RELATED: What to eat and drink before or after Dayton Air Show

Highlights of the show included daring acts by the F-18 Super Hornet and the Redline aerobatic flight duo. Sean D. Tucker, who thrilled the crowd with his tight maneuvers and excessive speed, pulled G-force after G-force and talked through the speakers to the air show crowd.

This could very well be one of Tucker’s last solo appearances at the Dayton Air Show. Tucker, who flies the single-seat, 400-horsepower Oracle Challenger III biplane, said he will retire from solo flying after the 2018 air show season. He hopes to find a sponsor to launch a formation flying team as his next chapter in aviation takes center stage.

“I love Dayton, and I love sky dancing,” he shouted from the cockpit of his spinning aircraft.