• Daughter says father died saving woman's life in shooting

    By: Trish Williford

    Updated:

    GASTONIA, N.C. - The daughter of a Gastonia man police said was shot and killed by a neighbor spoke exclusively to Channel 9 reporter Trish Williford Wednesday night.

    “My dad was most likely the best man you'll ever meet,” Kimberly Green said.

    She spoke to her father, Mark Sheridan, on New Year's Day, hours before police said he was gunned down inside his Gastonia home.

    Green said a police officer on the scene called her to tell her that her father had been killed.

    “It was devastating,” Green said. “Unfortunately, I was with my kids so they had to kind of watch me break down.”

    Sheridan, 62, was a retired U.S. Army veteran and worked at the neighborhood Walmart in Gastonia.

    Green, whose is also in the military, just visited her father on Christmas.

    “This was the one Christmas I wanted to spend with him because his wife passed away in May,” Green said.

    On New Year's Day, Sheridan's neighbors called police after hearing several rounds of gunfire near his home on Jefferson Avenue.

    Gastonia police said Sheridan's next door neighbor, Joseph Zinna, shot his own wife outside their home and then walked over to Sheridan's home and opened fire.

    “They figured he came over and said they might as well take care of him too,” Green told Channel 9.

    Green was aware of past problems between her father and Zinna

    “There (were) issues, arguments and stuff that they’ve had but absolutely nothing would’ve led to this,” Green said.

    She said her father wasn't alone the day he was shot and believes he protected a friend who was visiting him.

    “My dad may have stepped in front of her, which is very much like him, and shield her and she got to hide in the bathroom,” Green said.

    Zinna was charged with murder in the New Year’s Day homicide.

    “I hate what he did but I have to forgive him,” Green said.

    Green and her family are raising money to help bury her father.

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