Shooting victim ‘was a kind, sweet and genuine young girl’

Danielle Lawrence (Facebook)
Danielle Lawrence (Credit: Facebook)

Teachers at Riverhead High School remember Danielle Lawrence as a kind, sweet and talented girl who always had a smile on her face.

“She was the type of student that you wish you can have 10 of them just like her in your class,” said math teacher Athena Angerhauser.

Danielle, 17, was killed Sunday night in her Wading River home along with her mother, Tanya, 43, Suffolk County Police said. Her mother’s boyfriend, Thomas Calhoun, 44, allegedly shot both of them before killing himself, police said.

Danielle played the violin in orchestra and was a member of the Blue Masques, Riverhead’s drama club.

“She was a kind, sweet and genuine young girl who always had a smile on her face,” said orchestra teacher Marisa Macchio. “During lessons, she would be helping others, motivated to learn and happy to be playing her instrument. In class, she was respectful and engaged in our rehearsals.”

Although school is closed this week for winter break, news of Danielle’s passing spread quickly this morning on social media, where friends mourned the loss of a classmate.

Riverhead Superintendent Nancy Carney said counselors will be available to students as they cope with the tragedy.

“I am devastated for the Lawrence family and mourn their losses,” Ms. Carney said. “Danielle had her whole life in front of her and on behalf of the entire district, I want to express our deep sadness to the Lawrence family.”

Danielle’s younger sister, Brandy, was not harmed Sunday.

Ms. Macchio said Brandy is also one of her students.

“I pray for her sister and her family during this tragic time,” she said.

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Correction: Marisa Macchio’s name was misspelled in the original post.