Show of love, support for Murrysville shooting victims
By Jodi Weigand
Published: Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013, 12:56 a.m.
Although still reeling from the loss of his mother, Dominic Canonico asked friends and family gathered at a candlelight vigil for Murrysville shooting victims Gina and Lynall Llewellyn to try to take some good away from the tragedy.
“There is no explanation for what happened. … but take this and change your life with it,” he said.
Canonico said he took heart in the gathering of about 50 people Wednesday evening at the Crooked Creek Horse Park in Manor, where the two women spent many hours riding and showing horses and volunteering.
“It shows there's still a lot of good in the world, compared to the evil that made this happen,” he said as he struggled to hold back tears.
Gina Llewellyn, 50, of Allegheny Township, was fatally shot Saturday and her daughter Lynall Llewellyn, 22, was wounded in a shooting outside the Cozy Inn bar and restaurant in Murrysville.
Friends said Wednesday Lynall Llewellyn has improved, enough to be moved from intensive care to a private room at Allegheny General Hospital earlier that day.
Police said Michael L. Lunsford Jr., 21, of Murrysville shot the two women and then himself at 7:25 p.m. Saturday after concocting a story to meet with his wife, Ashley McHugh, 22, of Murrysville. McHugh was not injured.
McHugh was visiting the Llewellyns at the time and they accompanied her to the meeting, police said. Police said they may never know why Lunsford, who carried a suicide note in his pocket, shot the Llewellyns.
Tracey McHugh, Ashley's mother, attended the vigil. She said her daughter and Lynall met years ago and became friends right away.
“They met here at the horse park and it's kind of a funny story because Lynall thought Ashley was trying to steal her horse,” McHugh said. “I'm not sure why, maybe she was leading it out of the barn or someone asked her to move it. But they hit it off that day.”
Before the vigil got under way, the group was able to give Lynall their well-wishes via video chat. She was all smiles as she sat in her hospital bed with her best friend, Ashley McHugh, by her side.
Many in the group took comfort at Lynall's fighting spirit.
“I can guarantee you that this summer you will see her doing what she does every year,” Canonico said of his sister.
Gina Llewellyn, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis almost a decade ago, was remembered as a selfless person who took the time to make each person she met feel special.
“Gina was an unbelievable person; she made everyone feel important,” said family friend Nick Mitrakos of O'Hara, who helped organize the vigil.
The Rev. James Loew, of St. Gertrude Roman Catholic Church in Vandergrift, who offered a prayer to begin the vigil, said, even in death, Llewellyn would be a source of strength for all those who knew her.
“She was a woman whose family loved to come here and be under the stars. Now there is a star in your name,” he said. “May her smile shine upon us as our prayers lift toward her.”
Jodi Weigand is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-226-4702 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh-area drivers roll with rising pump prices
- Move forward on nuke dump cleanup, Casey urges
- State to kick in $2 million for Glade Run Lake restoration
- Battle of Fort Hand 235th anniversary to open window into frontier life
- Oakmont councilman pushes for answers in vandalism of surveillance cameras
- Deer Lakes board cuts elementary counselors
- Kiski Valley authority manager resigns
- Woman struck by car in New Kensington bar’s parking lot
- Classes resume after Leechburg Area bomb threat
- Deer Lakes School District crafts tentative budget, but contract issues unresolved
- 2 serious in New Kensington stabbings