The victims: Thomas McNichols, father of four and ‘gentle giant’

Thomas McNichols, 25, described by loved ones as ‘gentle giant’

Thomas McNichols, known to all as TeeJay. and a father of four, was a ‘gentle giant,’ according to his aunt.

“He was so tall and a lot of folks thought he was older than he really was,” said Donna Johnson.

McNichols, 25, was living with Johnson in her Westwood neighborhood home in Dayton.

After McNichols got off work from a Dayton factory Saturday, the two sat eating Twizzlers together before he headed out to the Oregon District with a cousin.

She got a phone call from a niece early Sunday telling her to get down to East Fifth Street.

McNichols attended Dunbar High School, Johnson said. His children, two girls and two boys, range in age from two to eight, she said.

“Everybody loved him. He was like a big kid,” Johnson said. “When all of the movies come out – Batman, Black Panther – he would get all his nephews and take them to the movies.”

McNichols was one of nine people killed by a gunman in Dayton’s Oregon District early Sunday morning. He died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to Montgomery County Coroner Kent Harshbarger

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