Like other schools across the country, Delcastle Technical High School in Wilmington, Delaware, lowered their flags to half-staff on Monday, in honor of the 31 people killed in two separate mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend. It was only later that they learned one of their graduates was among the dead.
Beatrice “Nicole” Warren-Curtis, 36, was in Dayton’s popular Oregon District with a friend early Sunday when 24-year-old Connor Betts fired an AR-15-style rifle. Warren-Curtis, her friend, and seven other people were killed in the shooting. Betts was shot and killed by responding police officers.
Warren-Curtis graduated from Delcastle Technical High School in 2001. She then went to Norfolk State University and lived in Virginia.
Breaking news and the stories that matter to your neighborhood.
Tony Tiberi, an auto body repair teacher at Delcastle, remembered Warren-Curtis as a great person and one of the few female students in his class.
“I’m devastated,” Tiberi said. “She was a great kid. I mean a great kid.”
Even after graduating, Warren-Curtis still took the time to return Delaware and Delcastle, with her most recent visit being two years ago.
“It was just great to see her,” Tiberi said. “She must’ve stayed here for over an hour. She waited until in between classes. We talked and stuff and she talked to some of the kids.”
Tiberi and other school staff members who knew her are still trying to process her death as well as the circumstances around it.
“I don’t know,” Tiberi said. “The world today is so different. It’s not my world anymore. It’s not what I know.”
Warren-Curtis' mother, Nadine Warren, fought back tears as she shared a message while speaking to NBC News about her daughter.
"Hug your kids and love them," she said. "Because you don't know in America now. When they leave they might not come back."
Also among the nine people killed was 25-year-old Nicholas Cumer, a student at Saint Francis University in Cambria County, Pennsylvania. Cumer, a 2012 graduate of Washington High School outside Pittsburgh, was working towards his graduate degree in the Master of Cancer Care program. He was in Dayton on an internship as the time of the shooting.
The Ohio shooting came only hours after a young man opened fire in a crowded shopping area in El Paso, Texas, killing 22 people and injuring more than two dozen more. Less than a week before that, a 19-year-old man shot and killed three people, including two children, at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.