LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Family and friends of a Louisville mother and grandmother shot outside church said she was crying out for help.
The family of Dana Hodges, 50, said she had been in a volatile relationship for several years before she was gunned down outside North Central Church of Christ at 35th and Main Streets.
Hodges' longtime friend, Janie Moore, said Hodges was afraid of her ex-boyfriend, 51-year-old James Davis.
Police said after Hodges was shot Sunday, the suspect, who was in an intimate relationship with her, then shot himself in an alley near the church and was taken to University Hospital in critical condition.
WAVE 3 News found court documents that show a violent relationship and the victim’s request for protection just last month.
“She started going to church and started looking for a better way,” Moore said.
Friends and family said after several years of fighting, Hodges wanted out of her relationship with Davis.
Monday, after speaking with a Louisville Metro Police Department detective, her daughter said Hodges had just been to court to file a protective order against Davis. WAVE 3 News found it.
In September, Hodges told the court that Davis recently broke in a window and fired a gun near her.
“He hit me, slapped me, pushed me and kicked me, I am afraid of what he may do,” she told police at that time.
As of Monday afternoon, LMPD has not named Davis as the shooter.
Moore, who has known Hodges since they attended Kammerer Middle School and Ballard High School, was in tears.
“She didn’t deserve it, she just didn’t deserve any of it,” Moore said.
Moore, who moved to Florida, said the two had long conversations about the violent four-plus year relationship Hodges had with Davis.
Court records show in 2015, Hodges requested that a Domestic Violence Order against Davis be dismissed.
Moore said her friend told her two weeks ago Davis slashed her tires, she wanted out and was really scared.
Her daughter said Hodges worked in nursing homes and loved to care for people. That’s something her friend said Hodges did her whole life.
“She had the most kind heart, she just wanted to be loved and she just wanted others to love,” Moore said. “That’s all she wanted.”
Hodges daughter said her brother, who’s a Marine, is on his way home after hearing their mother had been killed. Hodges also had two grandchildren.
Again, the suspect who’s hospitalized has not been named or charged yet by police.