MUSKEGON, Mich. — Quinton Miller just had a knack for being there when you needed him.
As a free safety for Muskegon High School in 2011, Miller led the team in interceptions. Off the field, his friends say he made an even bigger impact.
“That was my brother,” DeShaun Thrower says. ”When my real brother went off to college, he stepped up like he was my real brother.”
“He always looked out for us,” John Hall, Miller’s cousin, says. ”Cared for us like we was his own. Anything, he always had our back.”
“He was always fun to be around,” T.J. Copeland remembers. ”If you didn’t have a big brother around, you could always hang with Quinton.”
Muskegon Heights Police found Miller’s body on the 2400 block of 6th Street early Saturday morning. He’d been shot in the back at least once.
Miller’s friends say he had just welcomed a son into the world in January
Thrower remembers getting the phone call Saturday and waking up his parents with the news.
“I was like, ‘He gone.’ And they were like, ‘Who?’ I was like, ‘Quinton. He got shot…’” Thrower’s head drops as he breaks down. Copeland does his best to comfort his friend.
“He was my cousin, but he was more like a big brother to me,” Hall says. ”A big brother I never had ’cause I ain’t got no brothers. I always had to look up to somebody else. I had to look up to him.”
They still believe they will.
“Yesterday the sun came out one time,” Copeland says. ”I think that was him calling us, telling us he was home.”
Muskegon Head Coach Shane Fairfield knows the impact this will have on the school community.
“As far as the Quinton Miller we know and we knew,” he says. “ just a lovable young man who will be greatly missed. There’s a hole in a lot of our young men’s hearts.”
Miller’s body was found on the same block as the body of 18-year-old Kentae Jones.
Jones was killed on January 24. Police are still investigating both murders, including any possible connections.