Former ECU student identified as victim in Orlando shooting

Shane Evan Tomlinson (Photo Courtesy of WNCT)

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – A former ECU student is among those killed in the Orlando mass shooting over the weekend.

Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33, is listed by Orlando Police as one of the victims of Sunday’s shooting at a gay nightclub, Pulse.

At last report, forty-nine people were killed and 53 were injured in the shooting at Pulse. After three hours, police went into the club where the gunman, Omar Mateen, was holding hostages in a restroom.

According to his Facebook page, Tomilson attended East Carolina University. The university confirmed he graduated from ECU in 2003 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Communication with a minor in Business Administration.

“We are saddened to learn that one of our own was killed in this tragedy in Orlando,” said Chancellor Steve Ballard. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Shane’s family and friends during this difficult time.”

Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor for Student Affairs, said, “Today, we mourn the loss of Shane Tomlinson and all of those impacted in this senseless tragedy. While gone way too soon, Shane and his family are forever in the hearts of the Pirate Nation.”

From Concord, N.C., Tomilson later made his was to Orlando, where he was the manager and lead vocalist of a group called “Frequency Band”.

Tarrick Cox, an advisor for ECU’s gospel choir, worked with Tomlinson when he was a member.

“He was gifted and creative. He was a go-getter who did well academically. He always looked at people as individuals and never categorized them,” said Cox.

WNCT 9 On Your Side has spoken to many of Tomlinson’s friends who said they hadn’t heard from him since Saturday. They also spoke to CBS affiliate WKMG immediately after the shooting when they lost contact with Tomilson.

At 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, the ECU LGBT Resource Office is asking everyone to meet in front of Crave in Uptown. Candles will be lit and they will proceed to the Town Common. The ceremony, including the reading of the names of those lost, will take place at Town Common.

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