At funeral, Md. mall shooting victim remembered as ‘hero’

To celebrate Winffel’s life, hundreds turned out for a burial Mass at the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Gaithersburg. (WTOP/John Aaron)
To celebrate Malcom Winffel’s life, hundreds turned out for a burial Mass at the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Gaithersburg. (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
Procession from a church to a nearby grave site for Malcom “Mike” Winffel, who died at the hands of a shooter Friday. (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
Malcom Winffel of Boyds was remembered as a hero at his funeral Thursday. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Malcom Winffel of Boyds was remembered as a hero at his funeral Thursday. (WTOP/John Aaron) (WTOP/John Aaron)
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To celebrate Winffel’s life, hundreds turned out for a burial Mass at the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Gaithersburg. (WTOP/John Aaron)
Malcom Winffel of Boyds was remembered as a hero at his funeral Thursday. (WTOP/John Aaron)

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — He was called a hero with an infectious personality, and on Thursday, 45-year-old Malcom Winffel of Boyds was laid to rest.

Winffel, known to many as “Mike,” was fatally shot as he and a co-worker went to help a woman who was apparently being carjacked outside the Westfield Montgomery Mall Friday. The co-worker was injured in the shooting. Both Winffel and the co-worker were employed at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Carderock, Maryland, according to multiple attendees at the funeral.

Police say the Friday morning attack was part of a shooting spree by 62-year-old Federal Protective Service officer Eulalio Tordil. They say it began Thursday with the murder of Tordil’s wife at High Point High School in Beltsville and ended Friday with the shooting death of Claudina Molina, 65, in an Aspen Hill shopping center.

To celebrate Winffel’s life, hundreds turned out for a burial Mass at the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church in Gaithersburg. Many family members, friends and co-workers affectionately described Winffel as a clown who loved to laugh, and a person who picked on everybody without managing to offend them.

“Some people say he’s a big teddy bear, or a big kid,” said sister Pilar Winffel. “He was amazing.”

Those in attendance repeatedly called Winffel a hero.

“He was there in the moment and did what he was supposed to do,” nephew Erik Davis said. “And we’ll always remember him for that.”

Speaking inside the church, Winffel’s wife, Norma Winffel, said her husband’s actions Friday showed the world what the family already knew: “He was ‘the man,’ our very own superhero.”

During the homily, Rev. Anthony F. Krisak referenced media reports that Winffel had been killed as a stranger ran toward him for help.

“I don’t think he saw that woman as a stranger,” Krisak said. Winffel instead saw her as “a sister, a friend” because of his faith.

Police have said that the actions of Winffel and his co-worker likely saved the woman’s life.

In addition to his wife, Winffel leaves behind two children. A GoFundMe page to raise money for funeral costs and family expenses had gotten about $115,000 in donations as of Thursday afternoon.

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