LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A Louisville man accused of murder made his first court appearance on Thursday after police say he admitted to shooting and killing his girlfriend earlier this week.
Brendan Bell, 21, was arrested Tuesday night for a deadly shooting at an apartment complex on Breckenridge Lane. The victim's identity is not known at this time. Police say she and Bell shared a 2-month-old child.
When police arrived on scene, they witnessed Bell throw a 9mm handgun across the parking lot, which was later recovered, according to his arrest citation.
Witnesses told police Bell and the woman got into a physical fight prior to the shooting. They said he pulled out a gun and threatened to shoot the victim before firing the handgun several times.
He is charged with murder, receiving a stolen gun and domestic violence.
Bell is currently being held on a $1 million cash bond. He was arraigned on Thursday. His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 3.
Bell's arrest is the first domestic violence homicide of 2023.
Officials say cases like this happen far too often where a man is arrested for the murder of his girlfriend or wife.
"Sadly it's just a matter of time until we hear about the next one," Elizabeth Wessels-Martin, president of the Center of Women and Families.
Martin says as gun violence rises in the city, so does domestic violence. According to Louisville Metro Police Department's data, 20 domestic homicides were reported in 2022.
"This is unacceptable. As long as individuals in our community fear for their safety, they cannot reach their full potential and our entire community suffers," Mayor Craig Greenberg said.
Greenberg and leaders are looking into new resources and legislation for victims.
The Office for Women says it's partnering with a national organization to bring violence intervention trainings in April. Greenberg says he plans on meeting with Metro offices and police to discuss more ways to help.
"This needs to be something that we all as a community focus on every day to protect individuals from being harmed by domestic violence, to protect their kids and prevent it from leading to even worse crimes," he said.
In the meantime, Martin says the center is open to victims at all times.
People can also go seek help from the Office of Women, LMPD and any emergency room in the city.
If you or someone you know is in a domestic violence situation, the Center for Women and Families 24-7 emergency hotline can be reached at 1-844-237-2331 or you can call the metro united way at 2-1-1.