Maryland man killed in mall shooting remembered as a hero

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GAITHERSBURG, Md.  -- A man who always jumped to help friends and neighbors out when they needed it was laid to rest Thursday.

Malcolm ‘Michael’ Winffel was killed last week when a man suspected of trying to carjack a woman in the Montgomery Mall parking lot allegedly turned his gun on Winffel when he came to her aid.

“He lived and died as a hero and we'll always remember,” said Erik Davis, a family member who spoke about Winffel outside the Lima Catholic Church.

“He was just the best person you could meet-- like a big teddy bear,” said Pilar Winffel, who identified herself as his sister. “He would light up any room he walked into.”

Family members said Winffel was a husband and father of two children.

His big smile and helpful nature are what former coworker Nathaniel Byrd remember about Winffel. Byrd is retired and drove from his home in North Carolina to pay his respects.

“You hear about these things on the news but you don’t expect someone you know to be a victim,” said Byrd.

Winffel’s death is a reminder to those grieving the most that each moment must be cherished.

“Live everyday like it's your last and just don't take anything for granted because you never know what can happen,” said Davis.

“If you haven't talked to your brothers or sisters or anybody just go give them a hug and forgive a lot of people that you are not talking to because you never know, you might not see them again,” said Pilar Winffel.