Recent homicide sheds light on domestic violence in Pima County

Published: Mar. 17, 2016 at 1:28 AM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:12 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A recent case of suspected domestic violence has neighbors wondering if there is anything they could have done to prevent what happened.

On Monday, March 14, 22-year-old Kimberly Cornwell was allegedly shot and killed by her 24-year-old boyfriend, Stacy Kelly Jr.

Police said he is now facing second-degree murder for her death.

[READ: Victim, suspect identified in southeast-side homicide]

"Yesterday morning they were fighting. It was 4 in the morning. I thought about calling the cops, but we just went back to sleep. Now I wish I would have," said Tess Cox on Tuesday.

The case sheds light on domestic violence in the Tucson community, as well as some chilling statistics.

On average, someone in Arizona dies every three days as a result of domestic violence, according to the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence.

In 2014, there were 18 domestic-violence deaths in Pima County, and in 2015, there were 27.

Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse provides domestic abuse crisis intervention and housing.

Emerge! staff said domestic violence is an issue that thrives in silence and that everyone has to be willing to say something.

They said crimes are often foreshadowed by a trail of warning signs.

"If you've heard screaming, yelling, if they've made comments, don't be afraid to ask if they're OK, ask if they need help," said Anna Harper-Guerrero of Emerge!

Emerge! said if you recognize that someone is in an unsafe situation, talk to them privately and provide them with phone numbers.

Also make sure they know that Emerge! has an emergency shelter available.

"We have to be educated, we have to think about safety and we have to be willing to help," Harper-Guerrero said.

Emerge! has a 24/7 crisis hotline where you can report abuse or get suggestions on how to help someone.

The crisis hotline is 520-795-4266.

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