Sunday morning's police scene in the 3700 block of Camelback Road. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
Sunday morning’s police scene in the 3700 block of Camelback Road. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)

A shooting in Phoenix, AZ on Sunday highlights the need for domestic abuse victims to watch themselves even after leaving their abuser.

It also shows how one former couple and a third party didn’t use very good judgement.

34-year-old Brandon Branch must have still been carrying a torch for his ex-wife when he agreed to meet his former bride early Sunday morning. But there was obviously at least one reason she was his ex-wife, because the former Mrs. Branch didn’t show up alone.

Police say Branch’s ex-wife showed up ‘with a friend’ to confront him about “his domestic issues” in a parking lot in the 3700 block of W. Camelback Road in Phoenix. The friend remained inside the vehicles as Branch and his ex-wife stood outside to talk, but things quickly escalated into a life-or-death situation.

“Branch produced a handgun and pointed it first at victim 1 (ex-wife) while threatening to kill her,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Jonathan Howard said.

That’s when the woman’s friend exited the vehicle and produced a handgun, firing shots shots at Branch and eliminating the threat to his ex-wife. The pair then drove off, fleeing the scene, but pulled over for police at 4300 W. Clarendon Ave.

Howard said Brandon Branch was transported to a nearby hospital where he later died. Branch’s ex-wife and her friend are cooperating with police.

According to police, Branch had been in an ongoing dispute with his ex-wife, but it’s common sense 101 that should have told her not to meet up with him Sunday morning, with or without an armed friend.

Luckily, Branch was the only person shot in this incident, but it could have ended much worse, with only seconds separating two very different outcomes.

If you are a victim of domestic abuse and feel threatened or are in fear for your safety or life, please reach out for help and don’t hesitate to call police if you are in immediate danger – but please don’t take the situation into your own hands, putting yourself or others into harm’s way and potential danger.