Local man shot, killed in theater shooting

Published: Friday, July 20, 2012 @ 10:30 PM
Updated: Saturday, July 21, 2012 @ 6:50 AM


            Shooting victim Matt McQuinn and girlfriend Samantha Yowler.
            Facebook
Shooting victim Matt McQuinn and girlfriend Samantha Yowler.(Facebook)

In the chaos of one of the largest mass shootings in U.S. history, one local woman’s brother and her boyfriend shielded her. She suffered a bullet wound to the leg, her brother escaped physically unharmed but her boyfriend was killed.

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 58 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.

Clouds increase tonight, cool temperatures return this weekend

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 4:41 AM
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 3:47 PM

A cooler day is expected Saturday, but warmer temperatures return next week in the Dayton area.

RELATED: Dayton Interactive Radar - WHIO Doppler 7

QUICK-LOOK FORECAST

  • Increasing clouds late tonight
  • Isolated sprinkle early Saturday
  • Cooler and dry to finish the weekend

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

RELATED: 5-Day Forecast

DETAILED FORECAST

OVERNIGHT: 

Clouds will be on the increase overnight tonight. It’ll be a mild and breezy night with temperatures dropping into the lower 40s.

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar)

RELATED: County-by-County Weather

SATURDAY: Lots of clouds around for the morning and with a chance for a passing sprinkle or light shower, but most will likely remain dry. Temperatures will climb from the 40s to near 50 degrees by midday, then fall after the cold front moves through. It will become breezy at times, delivering a wind chill in the upper 30s to low 40s through most of the day. Some clearing is expected into Saturday night with temperatures turning colder. Overnight lows drop into the upper 20s by morning, but feel colder with a light breeze still around.

SUNDAY: High pressure returns to the Miami Valley, bringing sunshine and a few clouds. A seasonal afternoon expected with highs in the upper 40s. Still a very light breeze in place will result in wind chills around five to 10 degrees cooler at times.

MONDAY: Mostly sunny and milder for Monday with highs in the lower 50s.

TUESDAY: Partly cloudy, breezy and milder for Tuesday. Temperatures will climb to nearly 10 degrees above normal into the middle 50s.

WHIO Weather App 

WEDNESDAY: Morning sun gives way to clouds throughout the day. Another mild day with highs in the lower 50s. There’s a slight chance for showers into the evening or night. 

The 45th annual Dayton Holiday Festival kicks off today

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 4:22 AM

Untitled Sequence.01

The holiday season kicks off in Dayton today with the annual Grande Illumination and Dayton Children's Parade Spectacular in Lights.

RELATED: Kick off the holiday season at Middletown’s annual Santa Parade

This year marks 45 years celebrating the Dayton Holiday Festival, presented by Dayton Power & Light.

The event will be held at Courthouse Square and surrounding buildings from 4-9 p.m. with the tree-lighting ceremony at 7:45 p.m. and the parade immediately following. Hundreds of thousands of lights will illuminate the 45-minute parade, which will feature a variety of floats, entertainers, animals and several surprises.

RELATED: Christmas officially arrives starting this weekend

Activities planned include the live reindeer display, musical entertainment, carnival rides and games, holiday crafts and games, horse-drawn wagon rides, the Tike's Shoppe and a gingerbread house contest.

A complete list of festival events is available online, as well as a calendar of other downtown holiday events.

PARADE ROUTE: 

The parade will begin at 7:50 p.m. at Second and Wilkinson streets. It will proceed east on Second Street to south on Main Street, then to west on Fourth Street. When at Fourth and Perry streets, the parade floats will disband and stage for escort to their designated storage area.

Streets to Be Closed for Dayton Holiday Festival:

  • Closed from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m.:  Third Street between Main and Ludlow
  •  Closed from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m.:  Second Street between Perry and Vista View 
  • Closed from 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.:  Wilkinson Street between Second and Third,  Ludlow Street between First and Second
  •  Closed from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m.:  Main Street between First and Fifth, Second Street between Jefferson and Perry, Third Street between Jefferson and Perry, Fourth Street between Jefferson and Ludlow, Wilkinson Street between Maple and Fourth, Southbound Red Cross Lane between First and Second, Southbound Stafford Street between First and Second

RELATED: This breathtaking holiday light display is celebrating 27 years

The Dayton Holiday Festival, presented by DP&L, is a program of the Downtown Dayton Partnership, the City of Dayton, Montgomery County and the Mrs. Virginia W. Kettering Dayton Holiday Festival Fund.

Police officer shoots suspect while responding to domestic incident

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 6:21 PM

A female police officer shot a suspect multiple times after police said he pointed a handgun at her while she responded to a domestic incident this afternoon.

Colerain Twp. police responded to the 7800 block of Thompson Road around 3:30 p.m., according to investigators.

LOCAL NEWS: Sex-with-student cases swamp area schools

When the female officer arrived on the scene the suspect, Gary Sanzone, 66, pointed a handgun at the officer and she fired multiple shots at Sanzone.

Sanzone was taken to a local hospital in unknown condition, police said.

The Cincinnati Police Department will be investigating the shooting, police said.

The officer was not injured in the shooting.

Local pig cruelty allegations: Appeals court rules against owners

Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 4:39 PM


            Brian Weltge, President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, last year discussing four new projects. STAFF
Brian Weltge, President and CEO of the Humane Society of Greater Dayton, last year discussing four new projects. STAFF

A state appeals court has reversed a trial court’s decision to grant a motion to suppress in an animal cruelty case out of Drexel and involving pigs.

Two brothers were charged with seven counts of animal cruelty, a second-degree misdemeanor, after an agent with the Human Society of Greater Dayton seized seven pigs from their property at 6719 Dayton-Liberty Road.

On Jan. 7, Humane Society agent Heather Concannon removed seven pigs from a property that she says “we’re freezing to death,” including piglets whose teeth were chattering and their ears were shaking, according to her testimony in municipal court for the western division of Montgomery County.

MORE: Dayton mayor: Police must get tougher on panhandlers who break the law

She testified that it was 6 degrees outside, not accounting for the wind chill.

Concannon said there was an ongoing investigation into cruelty to animals at the property since 2015. She testified that on Jan. 3 she heard what sounded like an animal in distress and walked up the driveway where she discovered a pig enclosure, according to documents from the Second Court of Appeals of Ohio for the second appellate district.

The pigs were stuck in cold mud and were at risk of hypothermia, Concannon testified, and she told the property owners they needed to remedy the hazardous conditions of the pens by the weekend. She said the brothers had agreed to fix the problems by the afternoon of Jan. 7.

But Concannon removed the pigs sometime after 12:01 a.m. Jan. 7, which she claims was necessary to save their lives. She testified that a storm was coming in and she had to act quickly.

As a result of the seizure, animal cruelty charges were filed against the brothers.

The defendants argued that Concannon performed unconstitutional searches of their farm property, violating their Fourth Amendment rights. Concannon admitted in testimony that she never obtained a search warrant.

In April, a municipal court judge with the Western Division of Montgomery County granted a motion to suppress the evidence collected and observed by Concannon and the statements the brothers made.

But this week, an appeals court ruled that Concannon’s observation and removal of the pigs were not unlawful.

The state argued that her observations of the pigs and their pen were from the access driveway on a non-residential farm field, which lacks reasonable expectations of privacy. Her observation falls under the open view exception to the warrant requirements, and her observation was not an actual search, subject to Fourth Amendment protections, the court ruled.