No attention

ReKelle Smith, 28, and her boyfriend Kiriyaki Zarvous Burgess had a two year relationship. The couple had a son. Apparently their were problems with violence in the relationship as Smith filed a total of 6 criminal complaints against Burgess during the relationship. He was arrested once.

In May, a judge ordered that Burgess have no more contact with Smith, but by June she made a complaint that he had violated the order with repeated calls and threats. Police say they did not arrest Burgess, because he failed to keep appointments with the detective to give a formal statement.

Allegedly, Wed. morning Burgess kicked in the door of Smith’s apartment. Allegedly he chased his ex girlfriend and her current boyfriend through a window, and began firing a gun at Smith.

The bullets struck her in the face, the shoulder, and one bullet entered her stomach and passed through a kidney. After shooting Smith, Burgess fatally shot himself in the head.

ReKelle Smith is in critical condition.

Police say that just 2 hours before the shooting, Burgess and another man had confronted Smith’s new boyfriend at Walmart.

Six criminal complaints and only one arrest? He violates a judge’s order (I am assuming that means a protective order or restraining order) and he doesn’t get picked up? No arrest because he failed to voluntarily come in for an interview?

Repeated criminal complaints, threatening calls, accosting the new boyfriend. I’m not an expert, but I think this guy was displaying all the classic signs of a domestic violence danger.

Domestic violence is often not seen as a high profile crime. Often a complaint by a girlfriend or wife will not recieve the same attention, as say a fight on a street corner. Usually they won’t make headlines in the media. Often it is dismissed as just another fight between a boyfriend and girlfriend, both by the media and the law enforcement.

Not only is the process long, but sometimes ignored. Many times victims get the impression that it is up to them to fight this alone, because they don’t get the help and the attention they need when they try to get out.

Had Smith made contact with a domestic violence agency, they may have been able to help her get the attention and assistance she needed. They may have been able to give her some safety tips. They may have been able to monitor her case and make sure that it recieved the attention from law enforcement. But even without the attention of a domestic violence agency, there was no excuse for this.

ReKelle Smith is in critical condition at the hospital. I pray she makes it.


A cached page which gives more information about the events that led up to the shooting.

Police admit that some reports that should have been felonies were mislabeled, which made them misdemeanors and therefore they were not followed up on by detectives. The case in which charges were filed, police say that Smith is the one who did not go to the police station for a formal interview. A police officer was present at one point when Burgess called and threatened her, she put the call on speakerphone and the officer heard the threat to kill her. That one was mislabeled. At one point Smith was given info about local violence agencies.

On May 4 th, Burgess spent a day in jail for choking Smith, then he bonded out. He pled not guilty to the charge in court on July 8, then 8 days later was the shooting.


  1. sumbody said,

    August 7, 2006 at 5:07 pm

    who da fuk rote dis shit? kiriyaki had no motha fukin anger probs. if dat bitch wouldn’t have did stoopid shit 2 make him do and say da shit he say den nuttin would have happen .. so really shut da fuk up cuz u dn’t no kiriyaki like dat aiite. stoopid motha fuka. dis shit jzt piss me off.

  2. August 7, 2006 at 5:41 pm

    6 criminal complaints against him? And he did not have any problems? And he didn’t like what was happening, so instead of just walking away and starting a new life, he tries to kill her? No anger problems? So what, did he just try to kill her for the fun of it? Sorry, but I have the right to disapprove of attempted murder!

  3. August 8, 2006 at 6:10 pm

    I’m sure that “sumbody” is grieving over the loss of Kiriyaki, but you are mistaken. Maybe once the shock wears off I hope that you will see that. What scares me the most about what “sumbody” said is that, Kiriyaki may not be certified crazy, but simply be a young man who has extreme problems controlling his emotions and anger. I see many young people with the same issue and that is the scary part. My sympathy goes out to the Burgess family and friends who loved him. I also want to tell Rekelle to be strong and fight. Your son needs you there. And remember no matter what she supposedly did, she does not deserve to be laying up in the hospital fighting for her life because Kiriyaki couldn’t control himself.

  4. August 8, 2006 at 7:16 pm

    Thank you nimah77, you said it much better than I did.

  5. somebody said,

    September 20, 2006 at 5:04 pm

    who da fuk is “HOMESWEETHOME” !!?

  6. me said,

    January 12, 2007 at 4:26 pm

    The way I see it is this. If you dont know the whole situation then I dont think you should speak on the matter. One side of the story was told and since Kiri is not here to speak on his part then assumptions should not be made. Im just finding this on the internet..seeing as though I knew Kiri on a personal level and I have been there to see his and Taye personal relationship…I will say that you need to know everything before making a judgement. I am a rational person and therefore know that any intelligent person knows that there is only one truth and always more than just what people say. No matter all this and this sweet home thing commenting on a situation you know nothing about I know that Kiri was a great person with good intentions that loved his son. Home Sweet Home…if you really want to make a difference in the happenings of domestic crimes it is better to just offer the services and tell people what they can and should do…because giving comments on a particular story that you know nothing about is ignorant.

  7. January 12, 2007 at 5:20 pm

    “Im just finding this on the internet”

    That is interesting since the same email address was used by both the person making the comment under the name of “sumbody” and “me”.

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    December 16, 2010 at 1:52 am

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