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Top Stories 2015: Tragic double murder-suicide in Wading River


A frigid February night turned deadly in Wading River when three people were killed in a chilling domestic violence incident.

The community and Riverhead School District were left to grieve the loss of 17-year-old Danielle Lawrence, one of the victims in the tragedy, who was most likely shot coming to the aid of her mother.

Her mother, 43-year-old Tanya Lawrence, was also killed in the culmination of what police called a long breakup with boyfriend Thomas Calhoun, 44.

Mr. Calhoun shot and killed himself after killing Danielle and her mother inside the 12th Street home where the family lived. Younger daughter Brandy Lawrence, 14, escaped the house after calling police.

Hundreds of people crowded First Baptist Church for the funeral several days later to mourn Tanya and Danielle Lawrence.

Danielle was a sophomore at Riverhead High School, where she played in the orchestra, performed with the Blue Masques theater group and played track and lacrosse.

Friends described her as a shy girl who blossomed once she stepped onto a stage.

Her father, Tony Lawrence, was a teacher and former lacrosse coach with the Riverhead School District. A group of lacrosse alumni launched a fundraising campaign shortly after the tragedy to help offset funeral expenses.

At a fundraiser at Digger’s a few weeks later to establish a scholarship in Danielle’s name, friends wore shirts with the inscription: “The Lawrence Family, Forever In Our Thoughts and Prayers.”