CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Last year at this time, Charlotte was still basking in the national spotlight after hosing a successful Democratic National Convention.
But on the city's leaders experienced a tragedy on the opening night of the ceremonies.
Deputy City Manager Ron Kimble's daughter lost her life to domestic violence.
"We need to become aware as a community of this menace," Kimble said.
Kimble and his wife, Jan, spoke with Channel 9 anchor Erica Bryant for the first time publicly about their efforts to curb a disturbing trend and to issue a warning that if it can happen to their only child, it can happen to anyone.
For the Kimbles, there are not enough words to describe their daughter, Jamie.
"Her smile was her trait, loving, thoughtful, caring, sweet," Ron Kimble said.
Now, they are on a mission to share her legacy with the world.
One year ago, they lost their only child in a brutal murder/suicide.
Police said an ex-boyfriend tracked Jamie down in Tampa, Fla., coaxed her into his car and when she tried to escape; he shot her in the heart.
"But in the end, the gun did her in. It was the shot to the heart and we said her heart was so big that it took the bullet," Ron Kimble said.
It was a shocking end to what the Kimbles say had been an abusive relationship both mentally and emotionally that only turned violent that final day.
"She was strong and she had courage to leave a relationship. That is what set him off and made him snap, that he knew it was over," Ron Kimble said.
The couple has now immersed themselves working to end domestic violence, lending their support to Safe Alliance.
"Safe Alliance is the organization with feet on the ground fighting the good fight making sure victims are cared for," Kimble said.
More than $25,000 has already been donated to Safe Alliance in Jamie's memory.
The agency also runs the Mecklenburg County domestic violence shelter. The courtyard is dedicated in Jamie's honor, but they want to do more.
"We can't bring Jamie back, but we can help others that may be in similar situations," Jan Kimble said. "We've got to stem the tide and stop it from growing first and eventually curtail and eliminate it."
They want to work toward counseling for would-be perpetrators and help potential victims recognize warning signs of domestic violence.
Here are some of red flag signs of domestic violence abuse:
- Wants to move too quickly into the relationship.
- Does not honor your boundaries.
- Is excessively jealous and accuses you of having affairs.
- Wants to know where you are all of the time and frequently calls, emails and texts you throughout the day.
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