An Alabama woman twice asked a judge to order her ex-husband to surrender his guns because of alleged abuse, but, the appeal was denied both the times.
Now she is dead.
Darwin Brazier, a 43-year-old resident of Ardmore, Alabama, was accused of fatally shooting three people in Limestone County.
According to the county sheriff’s office, Brazier used a semi-automatic SKS rifle with a high-capacity magazine to kill his ex-wife, her new husband and their roommate.
The gunman later also killed himself, as he was found dead with self-inflicted wounds in neighboring Madison County, authorities said.
According to the Decatur Daily, the shooter’s ex-wife, Debra Ann Rivera, had twice attempted to get a judge to order Brazier to surrender his weapons because of his abusive nature.
For instance, in Rivera’s latest petition in which she sought help from Judge Chad Wise, she mentioned how Brazier was stalking her and that he called her so frequently that she had to change her phone number. “He calls my husband threatening to hurt both of us,” Rivera, 41, wrote in the court filing. “(He) drives by my house all hours of day to check where I am. He is upset I am now married and don’t want to be with him. He has been physical in the past, pulled a gun on me. … I know he has anger toward me and in past has caused physical pain to me.”
In response, the judge granted her request but on a temporary basis. After a month, Wise terminated the temporary order and denied her request for a permanent order.
As per the court documents, after a rocky marriage, Rivera and Brazier parted ways in 2005. The two reconciled later and had two daughters, ages 11 and 5. Then began the tardy process of custody proceedings, in which ultimately Rivera got to keep the girls.
Brazier was granted visitation rights.
“All of this activity has been going on for a year but has become worse since I was given custody of the kids,” Rivera wrote in her abuse petition.
The woman who summoned the deputies to the murder scene, said she got a text from Brazier saying he had just killed his ex-wife and the others and also that he was going to kill himself.
"This was an unnecessary and unfortunate escalation of what appears to be a long-term history of domestic violence," said Sheriff Mike Blakely in a news release. "Domestic violence doesn't distinguish between communities; it can happen anywhere. It's important that people are vigilant in reporting instances of domestic violence that they witness, and that victims report domestic abuse as well. We always remain hopeful that vigilance in these circumstances can prevent escalation to the point of senseless tragedies like this."
However, in this case, the woman did reach out for help, but apparently, the judges disregarded her constant pleas, probably assuming she was crying wolf over some domestic issue. But her fears turned out to be true and now she has lost her life – a death which could have been avoided if only her claims were taken seriously.