CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Ron and Jan Kimble have a message for you. They speak on behalf of their daughter, Jamie Kimble, who can no longer speak for herself.
Almost two years ago, Jamie was shot and killed by a jealous ex-boyfriend in Tampa, Florida. Broad daylight. The 31-year-old Chapel Hill graduate who worked for Coca-Cola – a smart, accomplished girl – had broken up with the guy three months before. He had never before hit her. Her parents say she broke it off because the mental, emotional and controlling abuse had started years before.
"She was a trusting person," Ron Kimble says. "She never thought he would physically harm her because she told us if he ever physically touched her she would leave the relationship immediately."
You might recognize Ron. He has a high-profile job as Deputy City Manager for City of Charlotte. He runs hospitality, tourism and parts of economic development for Charlotte. He and Jan got a knock on their door the first day of the Democratic National Convention.
"I describe the DNC as one of Charlotte's brightest days and indeed Jan's and my darkest," he told Anchor Molly Grantham.
CMPD Detectives told the Kimble's the ex-boyfriend had met Jamie at the Tampa, Florida airport when she flew back in from a trip to Liverpool, England. He said he'd take her to her car. Instead, he ended up shooting her in the heart.
The Kimble's have never sat down to talk publicly about their daughter's death until now. It's in part because they have worked over two years to establish The Jamie Kimble Foundation for Courage. It's sponsoring a luncheon Friday.
"Jamie had abundantly demonstrated love, compassion, strength and courage to all who knew her," both Jan and Ron Kimble said. "She had finally found a way to leave this man who had become increasingly controlling and abusive. The kind of abuse whose signs are so subtle that only a few would ever recognize them. But after 7 years, Jamie realized that despite the periodic good times and all his promises, he would never change. So she mustered up the courage to start a life anew. Three months later, he drove halfway across the country, shot and killed her, then killed himself."
Recent statistics show that in America, one in three women will be a victim of domestic violence at some point in her life.
"It can happen to anyone," Jan said. "Jamie is proof of that. We are now speaking on her behalf to reach other incredible women before it's too late."