Following two deaths after two separate shootings, the Columbia community remembered the victims on and off social media.
Nadria Wright, 18, was a freshman at Columbia College. She died after a shooting late Friday night near Forest and Grand avenues, according to a press release.
“It takes my breath away and makes me angry,” Columbia College President Scott Dalrymple wrote in an email to students. “This was not how Nadria’s story deserved to end.”
Counselors will be available at Columbia College, he said in the email.
Wright graduated from Battle High School, Columbia Public Schools spokesperson Michelle Baumstark confirmed. She was a server at Solstice Senior Living, where she had worked since high school, said Saige Bexten, the center’s dining room supervisor.
Orange ribbons, a framed photo and a card honored Wright in the lobby of the center Sunday. Bexten said Wright was “one of the good ones.”
Bexten handed orange ribbons to many residents who passed through the lobby.
“I gotta go make more of these,” one employee said after she pinned a ribbon on one of the residents.
One of Wright’s former classmates, Maricus Grant, posted on Facebook about Wright’s death.
“She was an amazing girl, not a negative bone in her body,” Grant wrote in a Facebook message to the Missourian. She was “smart, funny, silly and outgoing,” he wrote.
Former teachers, coaches and classmates expressed their thoughts on social media.
Katerina Tesoro, a teacher at West Middle School, tweeted about Wright:
The kids we teach are “our kids” forever. My heart is broken for the family, friends, and other teachers who loved Nadria Wright. She was a phenomenal young woman and scholar, taken too soon by gun violence. It was a privilege to know and teach her. She will be missed.💔— Katerina Tesoro, EdD (@MadameTesoro) September 15, 2019
Russ Crane, who coached Wright in cross country at Battle High School, tweeted about her in 2018, mentioning her plans to become a nurse anesthetist. On Saturday, he replied to his original tweet with thoughts about her death:
My heart is broken. I cannot believe that the last chapter of her life was one year after she graduated from high school. She was a sweet and caring young lady. 😢— CoachC (@BattleXcCoach) September 15, 2019
Sam Baldwin IV, 28, was also wounded in the shooting incident that killed Wright. Representatives from Boone Hospital Center and MU Health Care did not have information available for Baldwin.
Another teenager, E’quan Spain, 19, also died after a separate shooting early Saturday morning. The shooting occurred near Fifth Street and Park Avenue, according to the press release.
“This hit hard,” Marie Prince wrote on Facebook of Spain’s death. “I’ve watched you grow up.”
No arrests have been made. Columbia Police Department asked anyone with information to contact them at 573-874-7652 or CrimeStoppers at 573-875-TIPS for anonymity.
Supervising editor is Hannah Hoffmeister.