SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The family of Colin Loderhose is speaking out not only about his lasting impact but about their reaction after the man convicted in his murder was sentenced to life in prison.
Michelle Woodward, Colin’s mother, says her son had been prepared for almost everything in life until the day he died.
“He underestimated evil when it walked in his store that day,” Woodward said.
Loderhose was killed while working at Anchor Tactical in July 2022.
“I would just say the worst nightmare imaginable and time’s up by 20. There’s nothing that can prepare for this. Nothing,” Woodward said.
This past Friday, Zachary Cano pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and other charges in the shooting death of Loderhose.
“He has to serve 25 and a half years of that before he’s even eligible for parole,” Woodward said. “That’s not saying that he will be granted it then, but that’s probably the majority of the rest of my life, and I’m okay with that.”
It was a sentence the family was unprepared for when the plea was agreed to Friday.
“[The] prosecutor walks in, says, ‘Hey, he’s taking the plea and we’re going to sentence today,’” Colin’s brother Cavin Loderhose said.
It’s a plea the family says both they and prosecutors were on board with.
“I’m okay with the sentencing and everything because it saved [my family] from not having to go through a trial. So, I can live with that,’ Cavin said.
Cavin describes the emotions pouring through him when they heard the judge bang the gavel.
“My heart dropped. Weirdest, weirdest bit of emotion. It was like you got hit by a Mack truck,” Cavin said.
Woodward says she refuses to let her son’s life be summed up as a tragedy.
“I wanted the court to know who he was — that he was unique, that he was kind, he was confident, he was wise,” Woodward said.
Woodward says her faith has led her to be forgiving when it comes to Cano.
“I hate that we’re in this scenario. I hate the choices that [Cano] made, but I do pray for him,” Woodward said. “I do hope that someday he is remorseful for what he did.”
The family says Colin was an organ donor and among donations made, tissue from his legs has been kept and preserved to help with cancer treatments for dozens of patients down the road.