Two men who grew up in North Carolina were killed in the mass shooting in Orlando – a talented vocalist and a young businessman, both described as having infectious personalities.
Shane Evan Tomlinson, who graduated from Northwest Cabarrus High School and East Carolina University, was 33. Tevin Eugene Crosby, a graduate of West Iredell High School in Statesville, was 25.
Tomlinson sang lead vocals for Frequency, a cover band that performed at nightclubs and weddings in the Orlando area. On Saturday night, he had sung with his band at the Blue Martini.
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As news of the shooting at the Pulse nightclub spread on Sunday morning, friends began a desperate search to find Tomlinson – described by a fellow musician as “kind hearted, funny, passionate.”
“I pray to God that you not answering your phone is pure coincidence,” the musician tweeted.
On Monday, after the City of Orlando announced news of his death, the flag at Northwest Cabarrus High in Concord was lowered to half staff.
At ECU, where Tomlinson graduated in December 2003 with a bachelor of science degree in communication and a minor in business administration, he was remembered for his “high intensity personality and impressive singing voice.”
According to the ECU News Service, Lathan Turner, associate director of student transitions, met Tomlinson when he was a student and kept in touch over the years.
He was a member of the ECU gospel choir and the student modeling group Ombionce, according to the news service. “If you met him once he became a part of who you are,” Turner said. “He was destined for a grand stage, and he was doing exactly what he wanted to do.”
Tarrick Cox, advisor to the gospel choir, said Tomlinson had a contagious personality. “He was gifted and creative,” Cox said. “He was a go-getter who did well academically. He always looked at people as individuals and never categorized them.”
Turner said Tomlinson leaves behind his mother, father, a sister and a young nephew he adored.
Like Tomlinson, Tevin Crosby moved from North Carolina, but left behind a strong impression.
“I want people to know the laughter and the joy he spread,” said Jacqueline Scott, his English teacher at West Iredell High, where Crosby graduated in 2010. “I remember his smile, his love of life.”
She said school staff voted Crosby one of its “unsung heroes” at graduation. “They may not be the strongest academically, but they’re the ones who show integrity and determination,” she said. “They persevere.”
Crosby’s yearbook quote: “I live my life to the fullest each day and force myself to accomplish my goals.”
According to his Facebook page, Crosby studied business administration at Strayer University South and was working in Michigan. His cover photo is a quote: “Rise up start fresh see the bright opportunity in each new day.”
“He was doing well for himself,’ Scott said. “He wanted to be a success.”
A candlelight vigil is planned in Greenville on Tuesday night.
It is one of several scheduled locally for the Orlando victims:
▪ 7 p.m. Monday: Pullen Memorial Baptist Church, 1801 Hillsborough St., Raleigh.
▪ 7:45 p.m., Monday: Cary Masjid, 1076 W. Chatham St., Cary.
▪ 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Five Points Plaza, Greenville.
▪ 8 p.m., Tuesday: The Bar, 711 Rigsbee Ave., Durham.
Hundreds also gathered Sunday night for a vigil outside the Legends club in downtown Raleigh.