As Nikki Delamotte's colleagues at Cleveland.com honored her brief life and career, police in Ohio have revealed that the 30-year-0ld was shot several times by her uncle, 67-year-old Robert Delamotte who then killed himself. Their bodies were discovered on Monday.
Delamotte, who covered arts and culture for the local news website, was remembered in an editorial as a remarkably gifted and kind "crafter of words and images."
"She sought to lift spirits and build bridges and celebrate life with every story and tweet and video and photograph she ever published," wrote the Editorial Board.
One of of Delamotte's final tweets condemned gun violence and called on the media to do more to promote awareness around the issue. Two days later she was shot and killed.
This thread regarding gun violence was part of the last retweet Nikki Delamotte sent. She was a beloved, devoted, and proud journalist in Cleveland, including with @clevelanddotcom. And now she is another victim of gun violence. RIP. Please read it, she wanted you to. https://t.co/Kimljpuw5m— Brian Pokorny (@Pucky22) November 13, 2018
Cleveland.com reports that Delamotte had recently reconnected with her uncle — her father's brother — after falling out of touch with him following her parent's divorce. She was inspired to reach out after the death of her maternal grandmother who'd suffered a long illness. On Sunday afternoon Delamotte drove to visit her uncle in Perrysburg Township; they'd made plans to go to a bar and watch a football game. A security camera captured her arriving at his home in the Friendly Village mobile home park.
When she didn't respond to a text message, Delamotte's mother, Joanne Ullman, called police who found the bodies on Monday morning. The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is continuing the the investigation into the deaths.
Delamotte attended Cleveland State University and was the author of "100 Things to Do in Cleveland Before You Die." She was proud to live in the city and her editor Mike Norman said she "had a knack for telling stories that highlighted Cleveland’s diversity, and took great pride in shining a light on important people and issues in the community." The last story she filed was about the Old Brooklyn neighborhood and its vibrant African-American and Latinx populations.
This is culture reporter Nikki Delamotte's final story for https://t.co/a4YA4W2Cro.— clevelanddotcom (@clevelanddotcom) November 13, 2018
She filed it over the weekend before heading to the Toledo area to visit family. She was found shot to death in a suspected homicide Monday in Wood County. https://t.co/e5oWLZdRuR
More than 200 mourners gathered at the Edgewater Park on Thursday night to honor Delamotte's memory.
“Nikki is one of my best friends and forever will be. She’s also Cleveland’s best friend. Nikki wrote stories that illuminated the underdogs and the best of our city,” her friend Lauren Kotmel said. “She has followers and friends that she didn’t even know, and people who seek out her byline specifically, and felt such a deep connection to her sincere writing.”