MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Food, faith and fellowship are three staples for Sunday dinner at Crossroads Church. The fourth is volunteer Wade McIntosh.
“He’d be floating around table to table making sure people were getting enough to eat and see how they were doing since the last time he checked in with them,” said Deborah Marzahn, executive pastor.
McIntosh’s warm presence was noticeably missing.
“The buzz word around is ‘Where’s Wade’ and ‘Why is he not here?’ And once you tell the information to people why, the reaction all around is just disbelief,” she said.
That feeling of disbelief was shared at a vigil along with undeniable pain as people mourned McIntosh’s loss and that of his teenage daughters Maria and Olivia.
“Olivia (was) silly as can be and Maria just a dynamite little mommy,” said their aunt, Juanita Hernandez.
Her sister is Anita Sprosty, Maria and Olivia’s mother, the only person who survived the deadly shooting early Friday morning in a St. Paul apartment. Hernandez said her sister’s condition dire, but getting better.
One of the suspects in the case is Jeffrey Jemaile Taylor. He had a daughter, Cheyenne, with Maria McIntosh. Jeffrey J. was found dead in a wooded area shortly after the initial shots were fired. His half-brother, Jeffery Arkis Taylor, was later found in a shed with baby Cheyenne.
“I think everybody’s working together. I think we’re all working as one here and trying to do the best we can for Cheyenne,” said Hernandez.
She didn’t know why anyone would be compelled to kill her nieces, Wade and attempt to kill her sister. All she could say is that Maria and Jeffrey J. had a troubled relationship.
“This is another example how far domestic abuse can go,” said Hernandez.
Police haven’t released a motive behind the crime.
But for the solemn crowd at the vigil and inside Crossroads church, the focus now is to support each other through this tough time.
“It’s nice to know everybody’s keeping Anita up in their prayers and they’re all here to honor Maria and Olivia,” said Hernandez.
Marzahn said Wade always spoke highly of his daughters, saying they were both beautiful on the outside and inside.
“And he was proud of that grandbaby,” said Marzahn. “(Wade’s) in a better place and there’s no concern over where he is at. What I hear most of us are trying to deal with is the young lives that were taken.”
Jeffrey A. is in the Ramsey County Jail on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and kidnapping. St. Paul police will present their case Monday to the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office for possible charges.