Arriel Bryant

Domestic abuse victim captured after she shoots & kills father of children, flees with them: Police

Two children in the center of an AMBER Alert are safe after police captured their mother, accused of shooting their father and fleeing with them.

Cleveland.com reports that authorities arrested 28-year-old Arriel Bryant at a relative’s house off of Lorain Avenue in Cleveland on early Tuesday morning. Bryant is accused of killing the father of her two children, Richard Kelley, 35, before taking the children, ages 8 and 4, and hiding, resulting in a massive search after police put out an AMBER Alert on the young kids.

According to police, Bryant and Kelley began arguing at around 8:30 p.m. on Monday while at Kelley’s house off of Alahambra Avenue in the Collinwood area of Cleveland. Police said Bryant pulled out a gun and fired at Kelley several times, fatally injuring him.

Court documents shed light into a tumultuous situation between Bryant and Kelley that had been ongoing for years. Cuyahoga County court records indicated Kelley had domestic violence charges in 2011, 2016, and 2017. On April 26, 2018, a restraining order taken out of Kelley expired after prosecutors dropped the latest charge against him. According to Kelley’s lawyer, the charges dropped when Bryant decided to no longer pursue the allegations.

Although police said the couple continued to live together, Kelley’s relatives stated the pair were separated and not living in the same home.

Kelley’s cousin, Tay Crosby, who lived near home where the shooting occurred, told police he thought the altercation occurred because Kelley had suspicions that Bryant was stealing money from him. Crosby said Kelley kicked Bryant out of the home around a month ago.

“He was a good guy, but he had his past,” Crosby said. “They had problems on and off for years but she kept coming back….You could tell when she was coming over to his house because he’d be in a bad mood.”

Court documents, however, painted Kelley as a person with a bad temper who broke several bones in Bryant’s face in 2011, resulting in a hospital stay. He received nine months behind bars for the incident.

In 2016, Kelley reportedly choked Bryant during an argument after he chased her into the children’s bedroom. Court documents stated he lifted Kelley in the air by the neck and held her there until she urinated on herself. He smashed her phone when she tried to call police.

Prosecutors reduced the charges after Kelley took a plea deal. Instead of assault and domestic violence charges, he pleaded guilty to obstructing justice and disrupting public services. He received a year on probation.

In January 2017, Kelley reportedly shoved Bryant to the ground and threatened to punch her in the face. Bryant managed to escape and call 911. Police arrested Kelley, who was “verbally abusive” to the arresting officer, but later reportedly admitted to shoving Kelley. Prosecutors later dropped the charge.

Cuyahoga County spokesperson Mary Louise Madigan stated that Children and Family Services took temporary custody of the two children after Bryant was captured on Tuesday. However, the agency plans to place the children with a family member.

It’s unclear what prompted the shooting. Detectives continue to investigate the incident.

Bryant who also has a criminal history that includes convictions for obstructing justice, remains behind bars at Cuyahoga County Jail.

[Feature Photo: Arriel Kelley/Police Handout]