LORAIN — Donna Linder’s agony over her sons’ killings is compounded by her niece being accused of the shootings.
“It’s hard for both sides,” Linder said Sunday at a memorial for Dale Linder Jr. and Justin Linder. “My sister is there for me, and I’m there for her, too.”
The Linder brothers were each shot once in the chest, according to police. Dale Linder was shot in the kitchen of his home at 1522 W. 23rd St. early in the morning of July 5. Justin Linder was shot on the front porch.
Dale Linder Sr., the brothers’ father, said Donna Brown, their cousin, entered the home through the back door and shot the brothers. Brown, a 24-year-old city resident, turned herself in on the day of the killings and faces felony assault and murder charges.
Donna Linder said Brown, who is named after Donna Linder, attended an Independence Day fireworks celebration with the family the night before the killings. While they hadn’t been speaking to one another of late, Linder said her sons grew up like brothers and sisters with Brown and was unsure what the motive for the killings was.
“It’s real hard for me to think she would do something like this,” Linder said. “What was so serious?”
Despite her grief, Donna Linder said she was proud of her sons.
Both Dale Linder Jr., 22, and Justin Linder, 20, played defensive tackle at the former Admiral King High School and both were all-Lorain County. While Dale Linder Jr., was shy, Justin was outgoing, their mother said.
“They were just good boys,” she said.
Linder said she’s coping by taking each day at a time and was grateful to the approximately 50 people who attended the memorial at the Charleston Village Coffee House at 610-630 Broadway.
Imam Paul Hasan, who organized the gathering, said he empathizes with Donna Linder who he has known since 2005.
“She’s a special kind of woman that not only gives to her sons, but she even gives to her niece,” Hasan told memorial participants. “I give her all the accolades that she could have for raising these boys as she raised them.”
Hasan also saluted Dale Linder Sr. saying he was always there for his sons and was the kind of father all fathers should emulate. The Rev. Angel Arroyo of the Dotcom Ministries asked participants to pray for the brothers and their family.
“Bring peace to their hearts God,” Arroyo said. “Remove the pain.”
Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or firstname.lastname@example.org.