HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Nearly two months ago, a beloved Kecoughtan High School teacher was shot and killed in her home in Hampton.
The chief medical examiner ruled her death a homicide following a gunshot wound to the head, yet Hampton police have not made an arrest in the case.
Close friends of Joi Brown, 45, shared their call for justice with 10 On Your Side’s Kiahnna Patterson.
On June 25, friends of Brown could not get in touch with her all day.
“I knew something was wrong,” Tamika Dixson said. “I spoke to her daughter, and she said she hadn’t got in touch with her. At that moment, I knew that’s not normal for Joi.”
Dixson decided to stop by her house on Wendell Drive to check on Brown.
“When I pulled up and saw the cars were actually there. I thought, ‘I’m about to find something bad,'” Dixson said.
Inside her house, Dixson discovered Brown on the floor of her bedroom shot in the head. Brown’s ex-boyfriend, known as CJ, who lives at the house to co-parent, was also hurt.
“There was no other thought, besides he killed her. That was it. I found her and he did it,” Dixson said. “I was aware of what she was going through. She said to me, ‘one of us is going to end up dead.'”
Tamiko Solomon, a longtime friend, said Brown was texting her about an argument with CJ the night before she stopped responding via phone.
“She had a feeling that something like this was going to happen,” Solomon said. “She said it out loud. She sent me text messages saying, ‘He is going to kill me.’ ‘He’s going to put me in the grave.’ She said it. I heard her say it and I still couldn’t stop it. There was nothing I could do.”
Solomon shared text messages with WAVY.com showing Brown’s concerns of stalking and toxic behavior. One text from Joi saying “I found a tracking device,” another writing “CJ going [to] put me in a casket.”
Court documents obtained by WAVY-TV 10 shows Brown called police several times over the years. In July 2007, Brown accused CJ of assaulting her. Hampton Police were called to the Wendell Drive location in 2012 after CJ punched her twice, then locked the house with their baby inside. Then again in 2021, after being punched by CJ, he was charged with assault. All of the charges were nolle prosequi.
“She was just trying to live, be happy and provide for her daughter,” Solomon said. “She was a high school teacher, she was a real estate agent, she had people that loved her. She was thriving and her life … it was taken from her.”
Brown’s friends, who call it a sisterhood, said they just want someone held accountable.
“I’m still just trying to process the fact that her life was taken in the way that it was and nothing is being done about it,” Solomon said. “I couldn’t help her in life. So, I feel like at this point the best we can do is try to help her in the afterlife. Justice for Joi that all we want. We need answers.”
Police believe the shooting is domestic-related and the investigation is ongoing.
If you or you know someone who may be a victim of domestic violence or child abuse, click here for a list of local and national resources.