The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

The student news site of Diablo Valley College.

The Inquirer

Tragedy Strikes DVC: Celebrated Nursing Student Killed By Domestic Violence 

Brittany Ligdis in a selfie with her mother, Cathy. via GoFundMe.

The Diablo Valley College community has been reeling from the loss of stand-out nursing student Brittany Ligdis, who was shot and killed in her own home on Feb. 16 in front of her 4-year-old son. 

The 30-year-old Pinole native and mother of two was well-known and respected among her fellow students and faculty.

“She wanted to be a nurse because she wanted to be someone who could help people,” said Valerie Greene, an assistant professor of biology at DVC and mentor to Ligdis.

Ligdis’ aunt, Nancy O’Neil, told KTVU that Ligdis called the police after her ex-boyfriend, 36-year-old Jeffrey Kendall, broke into her home and hid in the laundry room with their son, Liam. 

According to O’Neil, Kendall proceeded to shoot Ligdis in the head right in front of their son.

Kendall was seen on a neighbor’s camera sprinting down the street following the shooting. Police reports indicate that Ligdis had ended her relationship with Kendall just a week before the murder.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence found that approximately 20 individuals suffer physical abuse from an intimate partner every minute in the United States, and one in four women experience severe physical violence at the hands of an intimate partner.

The Shelter House Domestic and Sexual Violence Center estimates that as many as 16,800 homicides occur annually due to intimate partner violence. 

Brittany Ligdis was more than just a student, according to those who knew her at DVC. Greene called her a beacon of excellence in the school’s pre-nursing program, describing her as “an ‘A’ nursing student” with a dedication to her studies that was unmatched.

“She was top of her pre-nursing and biology classes,” Greene recalled, and beyond that, Ligdis “would seek her peers out and help them succeed as well.” 

Ligdis’ drive and passion propelled her into the top 1 percent of students that Greene said she had encountered throughout her career.

Ligdis’ commitment to learning and her desire to make a difference in people’s lives were evident to those who knew her. Following high school, she took on motherhood, working and taking care of her children. She was later motivated by her kids to return to school, said Greene, because she wanted to show them that they could do anything.

“She was murdered,” Greene solemnly concluded about the tragedy that cut short a promising life.

DVC will host a special Celebration of Life for Brittany Ligdis on Monday, April 8, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Inclusivity and Wellness Center in the Student Union Building. The event aims to bring together friends, classmates, and faculty to commemorate Ligdis’ life.

Participants will gather at the center before moving to the duck pond area, where they will decorate rocks to place under a tree in Ligdis’ honor. Attendees will also have the opportunity to share fond memories of Brittany.

Diablo Valley College has several resources to help those who are experiencing intimate partner violence and to spread awareness about it.

As the community continues to mourn the loss of Britany Ligdis, her memory will live on as a testament to her remarkable spirit and unwavering dedication to her dreams.

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About the Contributor
Jag Mishra, Staff Writer

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