Lori Fullbright, News On 6
TULSA, Oklahoma -- The family of a young woman murdered over the weekend says she had been living in fear the past month, afraid she'd be killed because she was a witness in a separate murder case in February.
Bryshell Downing was shot and killed when three men opened fire on the car she was riding in early yesterday morning.
Bryshell graduated last year from Platt College as a medical assistant. Her family says she was outgoing, caring and had a smile that would light up a room. But, for the past month, they say her life was nothing but stress.
Bryshell, her sister Brytne, Brytne's two-year-old daughter and another friend, were out Sunday around 5 a.m. Police say they met a group of three men and decided to go have drinks at a hotel.
But along the way, Brytne, who was driving, says she got a bad feeling about the men and moments later, they pulled up next to the girls' car and opened fire.
"It just happened so fast. They came on the side and the next thing I knew, I heard gunshots and my window shattered and I drove off," she said. "I turned and saw my sister and I knew it was over with."
Last month, Bryshell had said she was assaulted by a man named John Page, so her boyfriend confronted Page and opened fire, but hit and killed Page's sister by mistake.
Police arrested the boyfriend DeJuan Davis, but Bryshell was afraid the Page's would retaliate against her.
Her family believes that's what's happened because police arrested DeMarco Page for driving the car. Police are determining if he's related to the other Pages.
"We went out today to count the bullet holes. It was well over a dozen bullet holes, so we're very lucky there's not more victims," Sergeant Mike Huff, Tulsa Police, said.
Detectives are working on a warrant for the man suspected of firing the shots. Bryshell's family wants the violence to end here; they don't want Brytne, a witness, to be next.
"How do we protect her?" Ronnie Downing, Bryhsell's father, said. "We lost one, we don't want to lose another. We don't want it to become two, so where do we turn; who do we turn to for protection of her?"
The entire family says they're still in shock and coming to terms with that fact Bryshell is gone from their lives forever.
"The main thing I would like people to know about Bryshell is that she was a wonderful person, never met a stranger, had a good heart, she was kind, she was sweet, educated and she'll be truly missed," her father said.
Police say everyone in this case has been cooperating. They believe the idea of a group of girls and a baby being shot at has sobered up a lot of people.
Bryshell's family has set up a memorial fund in her honor. Donations can be made to any Bank of America branch in Tulsa.