A staffer during Donald Trump’s presidential campaign has died after he was shot 13 times as he slept in his Florida home. Nick Corvino, 30, a longtime Republican who worked on a number of GOP campaigns, was killed by his roommate earlier this week in their apartment near Kissimmee, about 30 miles south of Orlando, according to the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office.
Deputies found Corvino dead in his bed. He’d been shot in the head, back and legs, according to a report by the Orlando Sentinel. His roommate, Scott Waddell, 45, had blood covering his hands and feet but didn’t say why he shot his roommate, deputies said. Waddell told deputies he is mentally disabled and took several medications, adding he couldn’t remember anything, the newspaper reported.
Waddell said he woke up and saw “Nicholas covered in blood with a gun lying next to him,” deputies wrote in a report obtained by the Sentinel. Corvino’s death caused shockwaves in Florida’s Republican Party. “I couldn’t believe it,” fellow Trump campaign staffer Randy Ross tells Newsweek. “He was so young, too young.”
Ross said Corvino was dedicated to the party and lived to learn. He said Corvino always stayed positive during the 2016 campaign and would tune out negativity. “He was almost too nice for politics,” he says. “It’s so shocking. His smile and energy showed his passion for the [Republican] party.” Corvino previously worked on campaigns for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and a number of local elections, the Sentinel reported.
“Nick Corvino was a great young man who had his entire life ahead of him,” Bondi told the newspaper. “He was charismatic and kind.” Waddell was arrested on a charge of first-degree murder. Deputies say cameras inside the house captured some of the events leading up to the shooting. Waddell told deputies he’d been having thoughts about killing men but had never acted on them, according to the Sentinel. Waddell said he and Corvino had been “best friends for 10 years.”
The Orlando Sentinel described Corvino as a “former GOP staffer and Disney employee.” His LinkedIn page and comments from those who knew him describe a positive young man in ascendancy, who had already built quite a resume in GOP politics by age 30. Wrote one woman on social media, “Nick lit up everyone’s sky and for others he lit up their world. He was the king of hearts. RIP.”
He was the central Florida political director for Donald J. Trump for President, Inc., according to his LinkedIn page. He also held a series of other posts for prominent politicians. However, friends also remembered his joy for life. Wrote one:
“So many great memories with Nick. When I lived in Orlando we spent nearly every Sunday at the ale house watching football. Every time we hung out it was nothing but laughs and smiles. When we worked the same day at Epcot (where we met) the time couldn’t have gone by any faster because of constant chats about classic hip hop (and freestyling) and tons of WWF wrestling banter. I miss you buddy, rest easy.”
Nick Corvino: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know
1. Police Say That Corvino Was Shot 13 Times & Have Accused His Roommate of the Murder
They found the young political staffer dead in a bedroom, his body riddled with bullet wounds. “He (Waddell) allowed deputies inside the unit and they found Nicholas Anthony Corvino, 30, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, lying on the floor next to his bed, according to deputies,” the television station reported. “Corvino was shot five times in the back, once in the head and in the front of his body….(Corvino) had no defensive wounds that would indicate a struggle between him and his roommate.”
2. Corvino Worked for Trump, Pam Biondi, & Disney’s Polynesian Resort
He wrote a publication called, “Immigration Policy in Times of Crisis: A Comparative Outlook.” Biondi described herself as “heartbroken” by Corvino’s death.
3. Waddell Is Accused of Saying He Had Thoughts of Killing Young Men
According to the New York Post, Waddell is accused of telling deputies that “he was mentally disabled and takes medication.” “He explained he suffers from nightmares and sometimes has homicidal thoughts wanting to kill young men,” authorities allege, according to the Post.
He told authorities that he and Corvino had been “best friends” for 10 years, according to the Orlando Sentinel. No other motive has been established. The Sentinel reported that the murder’s aftermath was captured on video, although the actual shooting was not. The video allegedly shows Waddell “moving Corvino’s body to the side of the bed and staring at him for several minutes,” the newspaper reported.
4. Corvino Was Remembered as Positive & Sincere & Always Fun to Be Around
One woman who worked with him wrote on a GoFundMe site in Corvino’s name, “Nick and I worked at The Polynesian together. He was the kindest, most positive and sincere person you’d want to have as a friend. He will be so missed.” Another man wrote, “Nick, brother, you were one of the best friends a person could ask for. Caring, kind, generous, outgoing, real, and always fun to just be around…and the list goes on. You will always be in my prayers. Fly high, brother!”
A friend commented, “You loved your family, friends and country like nobody else. You were an example and a great friend, you made us laugh and gave us tough love when we needed it. I will miss talking to you and will cherish forever your words and advice.” There are many similar comments; it’s clear that Corvino touched many people. A Facebook page was created to remember Corvino. It is filled with photos and positive remembrances.
5. Corvino Graduated With Honors & Was Described as a ‘True Patriot’ Who Lost Both Parents at Age Four
According to LinkedIn, Corvina graduated from the University of Central Florida with a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Government in 2013. He listed his activities and honors as, “Summer 2011, Fall 2011, Spring 2012 Dean’s List, Burnett Honors Congress, Legislative Scholars Program, Honors in the Major Program.”
A GoFundMe site has been established to help with Corvino’s funeral expenses. It calls him “a true Patriot! A real life mover and shaker! A strong Italian Stallion, born and raised in Berwick Pennsylvania. After losing his parents at the age of 4, his aunt and grandmother made sure to raise an outstanding young man! He moved to the most magical place on earth and worked to fulfill Walt Disney’s dreams.”
The expenses are being raised to help his aunt and “adoptive mom” pay for his funeral. “Funeral arrangements will be at Baldwin-Fairchild Funeral Home on Plant St in Winter Garden and burial in Winter Garden Cemetery date is to be determined… Even though we are from Pennsylvania, he wanted to be buried here. He said Florida was his home.”