From the Cold-Case Archives: Original coverage of Brame shooting|
Nov 3, 1999: ‘IT’S ALWAYS THE GOOD ONES THAT GET WASTED’
By Christine Vasconez and Lou Grieco Dayton Daily News
DAYTON – There were no screeching tires, no violent scuffle or cries for help. There was only the sight of off-duty Dayton police officer Kevin Brame – face down Monday night, dead on the asphalt driveway of his family’s home.
Tuesday, neighbors in the Cherry Drive and Rustic Road area said the gunshot is all they heard. At approximately 9 p.m. Monday, Brame, 31, was shot in the neck and killed as his two young sons slept inside their 624 Cherry Drive home in the Hillcrest area of Dayton. It’s unclear whether Brame and his wife, Carla, lived in the home together.
Police are as dumbfounded as neighbors about who and why someone killed the six-year veteran. They have no suspects.
“After I heard the one shot, I looked in that direction out my window and didn’t see anything,” said Tonya Robinson, a neighbor on Alpine Way. “I didn’t hear tires squealing, no fight, nothing.”
Another neighbor, two doors down from the Brame residence, said, “I didn’t hear no screaming or crying and my window was open.”
Details on the shooting remain very sketchy.
“We will not stop until we find the person or persons responsible for this horrific act,” Chief Ronald Lowe Sr. said at a press conference Tuesday morning.
His voice broke several times, particularly when he related that Brame was the son of retired Dayton detective Gerald Brame.
“Last night was a very, very sad, very, very emotional time for all of us,” Lowe said.
Detectives had not yet determined what type of gun was used, Lowe said.
“We’ve got quite a bit of work to do,” said Lt. John Barnes, commander of the Central Investigations Bureau. “It’s a Wide-open investigation. Nobody is ruled out. We’re looking at a lot of different theories.”
Detectives did have some witnesses, but Barnes said he would not discuss what details they provided.
By midday Tuesday, police tape that had surrounded the crime scene was gone.
Next-door neighbor Amelia Rodgers talked on the phone with Brame’s wife, who was still in shock Tuesday. According to Rodgers, Carla Brame told her that Kevin Brame had taken their two boys – ages 5 and 8 – to McDonald’s earlier that night.
Rodgers, who provides day care in her home, rarely saw the couple together because he worked nights and she worked days at Delphi Chassis Systems.
Rodgers often took care of the children for an hour during the day while each parent was still working.
“He was always in the front yard playing with the kids,” said Rodgers, who was advised by police not to talk about details of the homicide. “He was always grinning.”
Carla surprised Brame last month when she took him to San Francisco to watch his favorite football team – the 49ers, Rodgers said.
“They both are hard-working people, sacrificing to pay the bills and send their kids to private school,” she said.
Rodgers, her family and the Brames celebrated the Fourth of July together. “We lined up the fireworks and shot them off together,” she said.
Brame also used to give children staying at the Rodgers home tours of his patrol vehicle.
“He would let them look in the car and turn on the siren,” she said. “He was a good guy who got killed. It’s always the good ones that get wasted.”
Brame, a 1986 graduate of Colonel White High School, served in the U.S. Air Force Reserves and worked as a security guard before he joined Dayton police. He graduated from the police academy on June 18, 1993.
His personnel file shows both commendations and discipline.
Two written commendations, one in 1996 and one in 1998, were for helping arrest car theft suspects. The third, issued Feb. 1, said Brame was part of a team of officers that worked to reduce drug and violence problems in the area of Otterbein Avenue and Kings Mill Court.
The file also contained three reprimands and a 45-day suspension, issued earlier this year, for making a traffic stop. He stopped one of his wife’s co-workers outside his jurisdiction for “personal reasons.”Tuesday night, the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said that the autopsy had been completed, and that the officer’s body had been released to the House of Wheat Funeral Home. Services are pending.