FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The community is rallying around the friends and family of the victims of last month’s quadruple homicide-suicide in northern Allen County.
Local Jeep group Summit City Wheelers organized a Jeep ride on Sunday in honor of the Long family. Mark Long, 50, Lisa Long, 45, and Mahala Long, 15, were found shot to death in their West Cook Road home on November 29. According to the Allen County Sheriff’s Department, a fourth person, Samuel Long, 20, is suspected of taking his own life.
The Summit City Wheelers, a group the Long family joined over a year ago after discovering their love for Jeeps, wanted to do something to help the surviving friends and family of the Longs as they grieve.
“It’s just a thing we do in the off-road community, that we all just come together for our own and like you see we have a lot of support here for him and his family,” said Tonia Childers, a friend of the Long family.
Friends of Mark and Lisa Long wanted the ride to emphasize how loved the family was by those who knew them.
“Just love, Mark and his family, they were a different kind of family,” said David Szoltysik, a friend of the Long family. They were very into their church, very God-fearing people, very patriotic people, and if they wanted us to say anything, just come to know Jesus.”
Their loss is one that will be felt for some time.
“I’ve heard so many times throughout this, they beat us home,” Szoltysik said. “We’re sad for what happened but they’re not sad, they are smiling down. If anything I just want them to know that we miss them and we will see them when we get there”
The participating drivers met at Brotherhood Mutual Sunday at 2 p.m. to prepare for the 3 p.m. ride that led them to arrive at the family’s house by 3:30. For the ride, they had a police escort until they got to the home.
The group hosts rides periodically to help other community members in need, but said their more than 70 vehicle turnout went far beyond their expectations.