WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The impacts of the UNC Charlotte shooting are felt across the state at its sister campus in the Port City.
UNCW Chancellor Zito Sartarelli sent a message out to the campus community, calling what happened at UNCC “a deplorable act of violence that can never be erased from our collective memory.”
Wednesday evening, UNCW students and staff gathered to honor the victims of Tuesday’s shooting at UNC Charlotte. One of those students in attendance was Nicki D’Alessio, who knows one of the shooting victims, Drew Pescaro.
“When I first heard about what was happening, he was the first person I thought of, because I only know three or four people that go there,” D’Alessio said.
19-year-old Pescaro’s name was mentioned during the UNCW vigil, as attendees silently held up their programs. Pescaro was one of four students shot but not killed.
“Even though I didn’t know him super well, I did know him and I talked to him in class and stuff, and it’s so weird to think that it easily, easily could be here,” D’Alessio said.
Also connected to Pescaro through a friend is UNC Charlotte student Courtney Fuller.
“I heard pretty quickly, early on, that he had been shot, he was in the hospital and everything,” Fuller said.
Fuller was on her way home to the Wilmington area when she heard about the shooting.
“My first thought was, ‘who’s alive, who’s okay, do I need to pull over and make a couple phone calls to make sure everybody’s okay?'” Fuller said.
Fuller says part of her wants to drive back to Charlotte to be with her friends, but another part of her is afraid to go back.
“UNC Charlotte’s not going to be the same after this,” Fuller said. “And I think you hear about school shootings all the time on the news, and then you’re like ‘oh well that happened there, that’s never going to happen to me.’ And when it actually happens to you and people you know and the school you go to, it just like kind of shifts your whole reality.”