HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — A Hampton woman is desperately looking for a new place to live.
Kedron Jones survived an abusive relationship and was shot by her ex while driving away from him in the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel.
This happened last April and while her wounds have since healed, the shooting has left an emotional toll.
Jones has grappled for months with sharing her story and decided since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it was time, and she hopes to be a voice for others in her situation.
On the morning of April 15, 2023, Virginia State Police responded to a shooting inside the HRBT. Jones’ ex, Mario Blackley, followed her car. When Jones noticed, she drove away from the direction of her townhome through the HRBT. Police say Blackley caught up to her in his vehicle and started firing, blasting out all four windows. One bullet hit Jones in the side and went out her back, narrowly missing her spine. She drove through the tunnel in shock and pulled over, wrapping a jacket around her torso as a tourniquet. A nearby driver helped stop traffic and called 911.
Six months later, Jones’ townhome is packed up in boxes. Her ex, Blackley, turned himself in the day of the shooting and awaits his upcoming trial in a jail cell.
“He could never get a grip on his anger,” Jones said.
Two years earlier, Blackley kicked out Jones and their children in a fit of rage. That’s when Jones moved into her townhome down the street.
Jones used up her FMLA and 30-day extension to recover from her injuries, and now that she has, the longer she stays in her townhome, the worse her PTSD becomes. He ex only lived two minutes away. Every time she steps outside or drives around her neighborhood, the debilitating trauma instantly comes back.
“It makes me have this eerie feeling,” Jones said. “I don’t feel safe here. I don’t feel safe here. I don’t feel comfortable here.”
Jones told 10 On Your Side she’s reached out to many organizations and shelters to find new housing. She’s been denied or waitlisted since she’s not in immediate danger. Her lease has run out, and with each day come more late fees. Staying in her current home and reliving the trauma is affecting her ability to work and start over with her three children. Before the shooting, Jones worked as a leasing agent and is more than familiar with the housing process.
“For the domestic violence victims that are in my situation, what happens? What happens? Where is the solution? I’ve been trying to reach out to everyone,” Jones said. “I even sent an email to HUD directly asking for assistance. They directed me to the housing crisis hotline. Everyone’s directed me to the housing crisis hotline.
“I’ve called the housing crisis hotline and they’re very helpful, but it’s the system and how this process works that’s cutting out those individuals that aren’t fleeing or running. I’m trying to hold it together for my kids, but I know in order for us to move past this and start our healing, we have to begin with our home, our structure, our foundation.”
Jones hopes her story encourages others to seek help and never give up hope.
“This affected every aspect of my life, every aspect,” Jones said.
Jones has been working for Instacart to help pay for housing application fees and everyday expenses. She’s open to relocating anywhere within Hampton Roads.