A reporter for Cleveland.com, the website of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, was found shot to death Monday in what the paper said was an apparent homicide. Nikki Delamotte spent two years at the paper, where she served as an arts and culture reporter. She was 30 years old.
The killing took place in Perrysburg Township, near Toledo, Ohio, while Delamotte was visiting her uncle. He was found dead with her.
“Our newsroom is deeply shocked and grief-stricken at our colleague’s untimely passing,” the paper’s editorial board said in a statement Monday. “Most of us cannot believe anyone that exceptional, that nice, that thoughtful, with gifts beyond her years, can be gone so soon.”
The paper reported that police in Perrysburg Township were investigating a homicide, but offered no additional details. In a statement to TheWrap, police confirmed the investigation and said the motive for the killing did not appear to be related to Delamotte’s profession.
“Due to the suspicious nature of the death, no reports or any further information will be released at this time. It does not appear at this time that her death has any connection to being a journalist. The two deceased are related. The investigation is ongoing and being conducted by our detectives and Ohio BCI,” police said.
“What I appreciated most were the unique perspectives she brought to brainstorm sessions — her ability to make me see things I would not have considered otherwise,” said Cleveland.com editor Chris Quinn. “She had strong positions and backed down from no one, but she did so with gentleness and, always, respect. She was such a bright light, and Cleveland has a dimmer future for her loss.”
As CNN’s Brian Stelter pointed out in his Monday evening “Reliable Sources” newsletter, the issue of gun violence had seemingly been on Delamotte’s mind around the time of her own death. On Nov. 10, she retweeted New York University professor Jay Rosen promoting a Twitter thread by Guardian reporter Lois Beckett.
“In years of talking to gun violence prevention advocates and researchers, what I’ve heard over and over is that the biggest enemy of this work isn’t the NRA. It’s the cynicism and hopelessness of the general public–their belief that nothing can be done, why even bother,” said Beckett.
“But as media outlets, we could choose to focus on the solutions. We could include, in every segment or every story, resources for people who are worried and want to know what options they might have.”
Please read. Normally the point you see made is that media attention encourages shooters. This thread says something entirely different. The way shootings are covered creates cynicism and passivity— in us. Lois knows her beat inside and out. Recommended. https://t.co/NPhQY1TVSi
— Jay Rosen (@jayrosen_nyu) November 10, 2018