SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Reaction to the senseless murder of Dirk Tillotson is coming in from Oakland educators, city officials, and a close friend who is beginning the process of grieving his death.

“Handling grief is difficult. There’s no right way to do it. But as Dirk would always say it’s really important to take care of ourselves before we take care of others.”

Paul Le is referring to his close friend and public education equity building partner Dirk Tillotson whom police say was murdered after being shot during a home invasion in his Maxwell Park home in East Oakland.

Tillotson was an attorney with over 20 years of experience building schools across the country with an emphasis on working with and advocating for underserved communities.

Paul Le describes receiving such devastating news about his friend.

“My heart sank because the first things you think about is how senseless it is to lose someone who had so much for the world and the Oakland community. It’s heartbreaking.”

Tillotson and his family are residents in East Oakland city council member Loren Taylor’s District.

Paul Le says in addition to grieving the loss of his friend it is important to continue his work to improve equal access to public education.

The Oakland Unified School District is mourning Tillotson’s death, as well.

“Dirk Tillotson was a fierce advocate for the education of Oakland’s young people, and he was dedicated to the betterment of our world in everything he did. He will be deeply missed by our district community, but we know the mark he left on it will support our students for years to come,” said Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell.