It’s one of those things you think will never happen in your family…can’t believe I’m saying that twice in less than a year. This past Friday, July 17th a senseless tragedy struck our family.  The mother (Kim) of my brother’s wife (Nicole) was shot trying to protect her daughter (Brittany) and daughter’s boyfriend (Kyle). Sadly, Kyle was fatally wounded by at least one of the five shots that hit him and died holding Kim’s hand. The shooter kidnapped Nicole’s sister and there was an all out manhunt for him in Maine.

Brittany and Kyle GoFundMe

My mother and I will never forget receiving a text from Nicole…she quickly texted us so we wouldn’t be caught by surprise to see a news article and picture of her sister being shared across Facebook. When she was able to collect herself a little my mom spoke to her. It is a discussion that never should have taken place!

While we may never know all the reasons behind why this man did what he did to my extended family, as I look through the various news articles (this one courtesy of WMTW8) that were trending during the search and after, I can see that he has a history of criminal activity which includes violence and most recently he was sentenced to 10 months in jail for which he only served 45 days! When are we, as a society, going to stop allowing repeat offenders to be let loose on the streets again?  We seem to treat first time offenders with way stronger penalties than someone who has done something time and time again!  This man is also being investigated in the death of his 6-month-old son according to an article from ABC News.  How was this man walking the streets and able to commit these horrible crimes?

As we struggle to find answers, which may never come, the family will struggle to find ways to continue on life’s journey with the emotional and physical scars of a senseless tragedy that took lives from this earth too soon! At this time the family is in need of help to cover medical and funeral costs and a GoFundMe account has been set up. Please consider helping – there is no amount that is too big or too small.

I would also like to thank Renee O from ABC7 and FOX22 and Dave H from Portland Press Herald for reaching out on Friday to get the story from our family’s perspective. I hope they, along with everyone else, understands why I was not in a position to comment at that time and why my family may not be ready to tell their own story anytime soon.