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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homicide: After Losing Two Friends to Abuse, Brandy Costello Launches Anti-Violence Effort

Posted By on Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 10:00 AM

click to enlarge Latasha Flowers - VIA FACEBOOK

As we reported last week, police say St. Louis resident Terence Anderson shot his girlfriend Nichole Haynes, 32, in the head as she was trying to escape. Haynes' fifteen-year-old daughter was caught in the gunfire and sent to the hospital -- but she survived. Anderson was eventually chased down by police who shot and killed him.

"We grew up together," Brandy Costello, a close friend of Haynes, tells Daily RFT. "She was a very loving, very good person."

The tragic death has encouraged Costello to spring into action, she says, in part, because this is not the first close friend she has lost to domestic violence.

In 2009, Latasha Flowers, at age 29, was shot and killed by her husband -- who, two years later, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to eighteen years.

"I was traumatized," says Costello, 32, who grew up in St. Louis and runs an online apparel company. "I had just talked to [Flowers] the day before.... She was near the point of leaving him. She would say, 'I just need to get out.' And I would say, 'We can do this.' ....She was going to come over the next day."

But Costello never saw Flowers again.

"I didn't do anything about it," Costello recalls of the time after her passing.

VIA FACEBOOK

She says she was shocked and didn't know how to react or what she could do in response to such a horrible incident of violence.

Then she got the call last week -- her childhood friend, Nichole Haynes, had been shot and killed.

"I dropped the phone, and I said, 'OK, God, what now? What now?'" she says. "I couldn't cry.... I just kept saying, 'Now what?'"

She continues, "I heard God say, 'Do something about it.'"

Continue for more of our interview with Brandy Costello.

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