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EXCLUSIVE: Columbus family heartbroken after relative killed in Dayton, Oh. mass shooting

Updated: Aug. 5, 2019 at 6:36 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - As the nation is mourning the loss of the victims in mass shootings in both El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, one family in Columbus says the tragedy hit too close to home.

Chris Kelley says his cousin was among the nine victims shot and killed in the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.

“This is family. This is a relative of mine. This is my cousin Monica and she’s no longer with us,” says Kelley.

Kelley says he was in church with his family when he got a heartbreaking message from a family member.

“I looked at my phone and my oldest sister had texted me and she said are you aware of the shooting that happened in Dayton, Ohio? I said I heard about it. She said our cousin was one of the victims,” Kelley explains.

He was told his 39-year-old cousin, Monica Brickhouse, was identified as one of the victims in the shooting on the corner of East Fifth Street and Wayne Avenue that left 27 others injured.

“A friend of hers had come into town from Virginia to visit her. They went out to have a good time. She was there enjoying the scene not knowing that this was going to take place,” says Kelley.

He says Brickhouse leaves behind a list of loving family members including a five-year-old son.

“It’s not just we’ve lost Monica, now we have another life that at five-years-old has experienced something none of us want to experience, the loss of a mother,” Kelley explains.

Kelley says now he’s working out a schedule to go to Ohio to meet with his family to discuss funeral plans. He says they’re fighting through the heartbreak to find peace.

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