Friends, families describe victims of Dayton mass shooting

Two victims were seeking degrees to help people
Posted at 12:44 PM, Aug 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-05 14:31:35-04

DAYTON, Ohio — The nine victims of Sunday's mass shooting in Dayton included a new mother who looked forward to a career in nursing and a graduate student in a master of cancer care program.

Lois Oglesby, 27, was in nursing school and looked forward to a career that would make the most of her love for children, her cousin said. She also had an older daughter.

Derasha Merrett told the Dayton Daily News that she was up feeding her own newborn when a friend called her at 3 a.m. Sunday to tell her, through sobs, that Oglesby had died in the Dayton shooting.

“She was a wonderful mother, a wonderful person,” Merrett said. “I have cried so much, I can’t cry anymore.”

Merrett said she and her cousin grew up in the same church, were on the same drill team and that Oglesby worked at her children’s day care center.

“We all grew up in this little town, Merrett said. “We’re all family.”

Nicholas Cumer

Cumer was a graduate student at Saint Francis University in Pennsylvania who was interning with a Dayton facility for people battling cancer.

“Nicholas was dedicated to caring for others,” university President Malachi Van Tassell said in a statement. The university, in Loretto, Pennsylvania, is the oldest Franciscan institution of higher learning in the United States.

Cumer's family released the following statement through a relative: “We are heartbroken by the loss of our Nicholas in this senseless act on August 4. As our family grieves, we ask for privacy at this time. Thank you.”

Cumer had been in Dayton as part of his internship program with the Maple Tree Cancer Alliance, which strives to improve the quality of life for individuals battling cancer through exercise, nutrition, and faith.

Maple Tree Cancer Alliance offered Cumer a full-time position just days before he was killed, the organization said on its website. It described Cumer as hard-working, dedicated and one week away from completing his internship.

“He was well liked and respected by everyone on our team, and we all will miss him very much,” the organization said.

Megan Betts

A manager at Betts’ former place of work says she never discussed her brother, Connor Betts, but seemed close with her mother.

Daniel Cottrell, manager of the Smokejumper Visitor Center in Missoula, Montana, tells The Washington Post that Megan worked there this summer as a tour guide.

Cottrell says Megan worked there as an intern through a program run by the Student Conservation Association.

He described her as a “very positive person” who was competent and well-liked by her peers. He says she also loved exploring new places, including the “local culture.”

He said Megan’s mother picked her up from Montana at the end of her internship.

Monica Brickhouse and Beatrice Curtis

The 39-year-old Springfield native was remembered for her kindness.

Brittany Hart, a friend of Brickhouse, posted on Facebook that she was “in shock” to learn that her friend had been killed. Brickhouse was “like another aunt” to her, Hart wrote.

Brickhouse had moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, according to her Facebook profile.

Hart also wrote on Facebook that she knew Curtis, 36, who was also killed in the attack.

“To lose a loved one to senseless violence is just unfair, especially since it could be preventable!!” Hart wrote. “I am so sorry this has happened to you all!”

Derrick Fudge

The 57-year-old Springfield resident was out with several family members when he was killed, according to his sister, Twyla Southall.

“They were all just down there enjoying themselves and had stepped out of, I think, one of the clubs and were in a line to get some food,” she said.

Southall, who lives in Columbus, said they called her from the scene that night.

“His son is very distraught,” Southall said.

She said that Fudge loved his family and had a dog Lucy that he “absolutely loved.”

“He was a good man and loved his family,” Southall said.

Thomas McNichols

McNichols' aunt said her nephew known as T.J. was a “gentle giant.” McNichols, a 25-year-old father of four, was living with Donna Johnson in Dayton, she said.

Johnson told the Dayton Daily News that McNichols was tall, well-loved and “like a big kid.” She said they were together after he got off work at a factory Saturday before he and a cousin left to go to a popular entertainment district.

Johnson said McNichols used to take family members to the movies when big films hit theaters.

Logan Turner

The 30-year-old Springboro man was the “world’s best son,” his mom said.

Danita Turner described her son as “sweet and smart.”

“He was very generous and loving and the world’s best son,” she said. “Everyone loved Logan. He was a happy go lucky guy.”

The 2008 Springboro graduate had just celebrated his birthday on Tuesday and was out with a few friends this weekend in the Oregon District, his mom said.

He had a degree from Sinclair Community College and went on to earn an engineering degree from the University of Toledo. He also attended Wright State University for a while, spokesman Seth Bauguess said.

Turner had recently started working as a machinist at Thaler Machine Co. in Springboro, Danita Turner said

Saeed Saleh

The 38-year-old Dayton man was a native of the northeast African country of Eritrea. Saleh also lived in neighboring Sudan.

Yahya Khamis, president of the Dayton Sudanese community, said several members from across the state to pay their respects. They remember Saleh as kindhearted and hard working.

Saleh’s friends and families are thankful for the support from the city of Dayton as they mourn the loss of their loved one, Khamis said.

"We are here as a family, no matter who we are, as the city of Dayton is a welcoming city, so we are trying to come over with it," he said.

RELATED: Dayton's mayor asks 'why' after Sunday morning mass shooting

Dayton TV station WHIO and the Associated Press contributed to this report.