COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A knock at the door of her home Saturday around 10:30 a.m. was the beginning of a tragic whirlwind for Gloria Thomas and her family.
A deputy coroner was alerting the family of 27-year-old Travis McDaniel that he’d been shot and killed Friday night.
“I lost it,” explained Thomas. With tears running down her face, she also stated, “I don’t know why they had to kill him, I don’t know, I don’t know, but that still doesn’t bring him back.”
Like the rest of the family, Thomas is having a hard time coping with her nephew’s senseless death. The family says they just want to know what happened inside the home on 10th Street where McDaniel’s body was found with a bullet wound to the head.
“I probably would never know why, why he had to die because he didn’t have to die,” added Thomas.
The person who police believe may hold the answers the McDaniel family so desperately needs is 53-year-old Edward Lominac.
He appeared in Recorder’s Court Monday charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of McDaniel. He pleaded not guilty to the crime as investigators poked holes in his story. Lominac claimed the shooting was an accident and tried to stage the incident as a suicide, according to police.
Investigators testified he placed the firearm in McDaniel’s right hand although he was shot in the left side of the head and moved the body from a bedroom into the hallway.
“Whatever he was doing, I believe it was something that he loved like music because he was the drummer of the year.”
“Drummer of the year” a self-made title Thomas said she gave McDaniel due to his love for playing the drums. They also said he played at local churches and music may have been what linked him to Lominac.
“This guy was supposed to have a studio going on over there and they had a group and were rehearsing over there a lot," said Kimberly King, McDaniel’s sister.
Thomas said the last time she saw her nephew alive was Tuesday, three days before his death. " I gave him a ride to our house and he stayed here for about two hours visiting with us and his mother." Thomas said she never had any doubt that he didn’t kill himself.
"I already knew that because he wasn’t that type of person. He loved is family, he loved his baby.” McDaniel leaves behind a three-year-old daughter.
Now all the family wants to know what really happened and why.
King stated, "Come clean, like why, give somebody some closure because I know he wasn’t supposed to leave like that.
The truth about what happened may be a long time coming if and when this case goes to trial.
The family will say their final goodbyes Monday noon at Bread of Life Christian Center on Oates Avenue in Columbus. A viewing is schduled for Sunday from nnon to 3 p.m. at Sconiers Funeral Home.