Linda McGuffin and her son Max have kept in touch regularly. But for a mother, consistency is far from sufficient.
“Not often enough for me,” said Linda McGuffin.
On Saturday morning, Columbus’ mother was holding onto one of the last things she had heard from her son.
“One of his last texts told me he loved me,” Linda McGuffin told The Dispatch from her East Side home.
Columbus Police are investigating two homicides Friday night, the first of which claimed the life of Linda’s son, Max A. McGuffin, 35, of Reynoldsburg.
Here is the updated map from The Dispatch showing where homicides took place in Columbus
Police were called just after 7:50 p.m. at the 900 block of Barnett Road on the East Side over a report of a shooting. Officers arrived at the scene, an auto repair company, where they found Max McGuffin suffering from a gunshot wound, Columbus police said.
He was rushed to Mt. Carmel East Hospital, but eventually succumbed to his injuries and died at 8:20 p.m. on Friday. His death was the fourth homicide of 2022.
Linda McGuffin described her son as a “real good guy” and a great father of two children aged 6 and 9. He often worked in the auto repair company where he was shot, she said.
“It was just devastating,” said Linda McGuffin upon learning that her oldest son had been killed. “We’re all so sick of all this gun violence that’s going on. ”
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This is not the first tragedy for Linda McGuffin, who lost her youngest son, Evan, in 2015. Evan McGuffin was 23 when he died “after many struggles” with drug addiction and medical problems.
“We’ve all had our issues in the past, Max and Evan, and everyone,” said Linda McGuffin.
Max McGuffin was a strong man and could be stubborn, she said.
“When that happened last night, it was just, on top of everything, so devastating.”
Homicide detectives are also investigating a separate suspected homicide Friday night in Franklinton, where firefighters who responded to a burning vehicle discovered a body inside.
Columbus firefighters were called around 8:40 p.m. Friday for a vehicle fire in the 100 block of Yale Avenue between West Broad Street and McKinley Avenue.
After extinguishing the van that was on fire, Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin said firefighters discovered a body in the back seat. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:56 p.m.
Homicide detectives have been called to the scene and are now investigating the death as a suspected homicide. The name of the deceased will be released once police confirm the identity and can notify the family, police said.
The death of a pickup truck would be the fifth homicide in 2022, all five occurring in just four days.
Anyone with information regarding these or any other homicides in Columbus is urged to call the City Police Homicide Unit at (614) 645-4730 or Central Ohio Crime Stoppers at (614) 461-TIPS ( 8477).