A 61-year-old San Jose woman, who made national news in 1999 for a sex change surgery that got her fired from a Sacramento school, briefly appeared in court Wednesday.
Dana Rivers is charged with three counts of murder for the shooting and stabbing deaths of a lesbian couple and their teenage son.
"I just want to say Ms. Rivers, I don't know why you would do this to a beautiful family," said Khari Campbell Wright, the victims' son and brother.
Khari Wright's mothers, Charlotte Reed and Patricia Wright, along with his 19-year-old brother, Toto "Benny" Diambu-Wright, were brutally killed at their Oakland home last week.
In addition to Khari Wright, the couple killed leaves behind two other children.
Wright said Rivers knew his mother, Charlotte Reed, and had been to the house before. He has no idea what prompted the deadly attack on his family.
"I was raised on the fact we have a lot of love in this household," Khari Wright said.
Teachers and classmates at Berkeley High are also grieving. Diambu-Wright graduated from the school last spring.
"His smile was so big," said Claudia Gonzalez, Diambu-Wright's former teacher. "He smiled with his whole face."
Diambu-Wright's teachers said Rivers' past makes it even more troubling.
"Your job, your passion, your life's work is to protect young people and to support them on their journey," Gonzalez said. "Not end their journey."
Rivers, who's being held without bail, was born David Warfield. Warfied taught school in Sacramento in the late 1990s. When Warfield returned to school as a woman after gender reassignment surgery, she was fired for discussing the change with students.
Rivers is scheduled to enter a plea on Dec. 8.