Wells St. shooting victim got custody of much younger brothers when he was 18
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne’s NBC) - A father says his son died a hero as he defended his girlfriend from a man with a gun.
“He took something from me that can never be replaced,” Benyamin McQuiller said.
McQuiller’s heart broke when he got the call that his eldest child and namesake, 28-year-old Benyamin McQuiller, Junior or B.J., had been shot Sunday night at the Wells Street Mobile Home Court.
Fort Wayne police say the suspect, identified by the coroner as 30-year-old Lige Johnson of Woodburn, had words with B.J.’s girlfriend outside a trailer, then followed her inside and shot her, then B.J.
Detectives say B.J. struggled with Johnson over the gun, and shot Johnson several times.
“I can’t even begin to tell you what it was about. I don’t know,” McQuiller said.
What he does know is how proud he is of his son’s character.
B.J’s mother died when he was 18, and he got custody of his elementary age brothers -- who had a different father -- to raise them himself.
“That made me really proud to see him step up and took on the role of fatherhood. Even though he was their brother, he took on the role of being the father to his brothers,” he said.
He says those brothers are now with a relative in Fort Wayne.
B.J. also leaves behind sons -- two-years- and four-months-old. Their mother is B.J.’s girlfriend who he died to protect.
His father asks why it had to happen in the first place.
“I see on this guy’s Facebook page he had daughters. So at the end of the day you’ve got four kids, not even four, you’ve got to say six because BJ had his brothers. You have six kids that are hurting. Their dads are gone. For what?” McQuiller asked.
An autopsy found B.J. McQuiller died after being shot in the chest.
Johnson bled to death after being shot several times.
“I’m pretty sure his family is hurting, too. So my condolences go out even to that family. You’ve got two families grieving and nobody knows what happened,” he said.
McQuiller is on his way to Fort Wayne to arrange the funeral for B.J. who is Allen County’s 33rd homicide victim this year.
Lige Johnson is the 34th.
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