35ºF

Police: Ex-boyfriend shot, killed woman found in car

Police say 3-year-old son was next to mom in back seat when dad shot her

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The ex-boyfriend of a young mother  whose body was found Saturday inside a car on Normandy Boulevard on the Westside has been charged in her shooting death, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office announced Monday.

Their 3-year-old son was also in the car when Kameron Holmes, 24, shot and killed 23-year-old Bria Kelsey, police said.

Lt. Steve Gallaher said police responded to a reported shooting on Normandy Boulevard about 7:45 p.m. Saturday and found Kelsey dead in the back seat of a car, which was being driven by Holmes.

Gallaher said Holmes first told police Kelsey was shot in a drive-by but said evidence quickly made investigators question that scenario.

After questioning, Holmes admitted to being in an argument with Kelsey, who was sitting in the back seat, and to shooting her once in the head with a 9mm pistol he had pulled out from the door of the car.

The couple's 3-year-old son was also in the back seat when Holmes fired the gun, Gallaher said.
Holmes has been charged with murder.

Kelsey’s parents have filed paperwork to take legal custody of their grandson. They said they want his life to be as normal as possible after such a devastating loss. 

Kelsey and Holmes have a history of domestic violence issues. In July 2015, Kelsey was arrested on aggravated battery and criminal mischief charges after police said she punched Holmes in the face and swung a box cutter at him, slicing two of his fingers. She then used the box cutter to scratch up Holmes' car, police said. The charges against Kelsey were dropped a week later.

Holmes will be arraigned Nov. 21.

Loved ones want answers

Kelsey's family described her death as gut wrenching. They said she broke up with Holmes after the 2015 incident that turned violent, but the two agreed to co-parent their son.

Her father, David Kelsey, got the call Saturday night that Bria had been killed.

“I received a message that I needed to call -- that my daughter had been shot, and I thought, 'Who would shoot Bria?' Everybody loves Bria,” David Kelsey said.

Bria's family said they believe that less than an hour before Bria died, she called for help, but they missed the call.

“Twenty-one minutes before her death she called her sister, so I felt there was some type of confrontation,” said Bria's mother, Josie Kelsey. “What it was -- to what degree -- I don’t know, but I feel like there is a piece of that puzzle.”

Her loved ones said they want to know why anyone would hurt her, but that even getting that answer might not help them heal.

“We will never get justice, because he's alive, and she's dead,” said Nakia Kelsey, Bria's sister. “She's gone. That was my best friend. That was my sister. I will never get her back.”

Bria worked the night shift at a local McDonald's and had recently been promoted to a management position. Her co-workers posted a sign outside the fast-food restaurant that read "We love you, Bria. RIP."

David Kelsey said his daughter was exceptional.

"She always did the right thing,” he said. “It just feels like someone ripped my heart out. Me and my wife are at a loss for words. Its just horrible, absolutely horrible.

“I don’t wish the death of a child on anybody,” David Kelsey said. “The experience that we have been through by you taking our child from us, I can never get over it.”


About the Authors: