DAYTON, Ohio (WLWT) – A year ago Thomas McNichols was only starting to grieve. His 25-year-old son, given the same name, had died in the Oregon District shooting.

“To come down in the Oregon District, to enjoy yourself, and this happens,” he said. “His life was taken away at a young age. My only son. Now I don’t have him. That’s it. My only son.”

He was a father of four and a hard worker, described as having a heart of gold.

“He changed eight families, including mine. He changed us forever,” McNichols said.

He believes the shooting happened because of a failure by people in power.

“Now, anybody can go in anywhere and get an assault rifle of mass destruction, and you’re not worried about it until things like this happen, and it happened in Dayton. It happened to my son and my family,” he said.

This was McNichols’ third visit to the place his only son lost his life, as he questions why.

“Now, I’ve got to be there to make sure that his legacy lives on by his kids understanding that their dad was a wonderful and beautiful son.”