KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- “Frankie was such a light," Jennifer Steimetz says of her longtime friend, Frank Davila. "When he walked into a room, he just burst."
It’s been almost two weeks since the 86-year-old Army veteran and former bar owner was suddenly killed. Now, his friends and family are relieved after a man was charged with Davila's murder Tuesday.
“He had a great laugh, a great smile and Frankie D. Was like everybody’s dad, everybody’s grandfather,” Jennifer Steimetz said fondly.
Police said Davila, affectionately called Frankie D by his family and friends, was standing outside his sister’s house in KCK on Nov. 29 when a suspected carjacker walked up to him and tried to steal his Chevrolet pickup.
Investigators said Davila and 31-year-old Dominic McGee first wrestled over the truck, and then police said McGee allegedly dragged the beloved grandpa down the street near 7th and Pacific Avenue.
Frankie D suffered severe head trauma and later died at the hospital.
Hearing McGee, who has a lengthy criminal record of stealing, is now charged with first-degree murder and theft in connection with Davila’s death, is some comfort for Frankie D’s family and neighbors.
“It’s a shame. Frankie would have handed over his truck to the guy had he known he needed it badly," Steimetz said, "and if he was down and out, Frankie would have taken him in and fed him."
“I don’t have any remorse for him," Steven Steimetz said. "I mean the guy killed our good friend. Frankie would have forgiven the guy, and I’m sorry, but I would have driven him behind the truck just like he did Frankie."
As of Tuesday night, Dominic McGee sat in the Wyandotte County jail on a $500,000 bond.
On Wednesday hundreds of family and friends of Davila are expected to turn to remember him during a “Celebration of Life," which will be held from 5-10 p.m. at Knucklehead's Saloon in KCMO.