Family Says Woman Hit With Car, Shot in Falls Church Was Terrified of Ex-Boyfriend

Katherine Martell, 30, was killed by the father of her child

A 30-year-old mother who died Tuesday after her former boyfriend ran her down and shot her in Falls Church had been terrified of her ex, her family told News4.

Katherine Martell was killed by Christopher Brooks, 30, police say. The two had a 3-year-old daughter together.

Martell was in the front of Woodlake Tower Condominium on South Manchester street in the Falls Church area of Fairfax Country when Brooks drove up in a loaner SUV and struck her.

Brooks then got out and shot Martell to death before fatally shooting himself, police said.

Their child wasn't there at the time and is now with family.

"Katherine and I were very - so close. We were best buds. She was my - we were each other's confidants," Katherine Martell's mother Jane Martell said.

Jane Martell said her daughter was terrified of Brooks. The two were together for eight years until Katherine Martell broke off the relationship about two months before the shooting. She then moved into the Woodlake Tower Condominium building with a friend.

Her family says Brooks had shown signs of being dangerous for some time.

"When the child protective services showed up, I think the first time, and he threatened to shoot the social worker. He threatened to shoot the child protective service social worker and it was explained away, excused away by saying he's an upset father," Jane Martell said.

Katherine Martell's brother David said she had turned her life around.

"These past few weeks, the past month, she was able to get away from Chris and to really, like, live her life and to really experience what being a normal person is like," he said.

A delivery driver saw the attack and called the police about 11:37 a.m. Tuesday, but dispatch recordings reveal that police couldn't help Katherine Martell once they arrived.

"It appears it might be a murder-suicide. We've got two victims here. They're DOA [dead on arrival]," an officer said.

An autopsy will be performed to confirm how Martell and Brooks died.

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