Kevin entered this world with boundless enthusiasm; no time to waste on endless hours of labor. And he lived his thirty-one years with that same energy and zest for life. Kevin was the first child born to Rosemary and Gerald Brame. He became the quintessential big brother two years later to twins, Kerry and Karen.
Many adjectives have been used to describe Kevin at various stages of his life – helpful, inquisitive, sweet, generous, impish, joking, adventurous, protective. At Kevin’s funeral service, his cousin, Mary JoElyn, said “We watched you grow from a pretty little ‘Gerber’ baby to a strong, proud and responsible man.”
From his earliest years, Kevin loved sports and was a member of the Dayton View SAY (Soccer Association for Youth) Soccer team for six years. In high school he participated in many activities, including Junior Council on World Affairs, yearbook staff, manager of the girls’ softball team, member of the varsity soccer team and swim team. On November 15, 2005 Kevin was posthumously recognized with a Distinguished Alumnus Award from Colonel White High School. A trophy case honoring his life was dedicated.
“He was almost universally popular with students and faculty,” Principal Gerry Griffith said during the memorial service. “I was amazed at his depth and maturity,” ROTC Major Odell W. Graves said, referring to the conversations he used to have with Brame, then a teenager, in the school’s hallways. “Kevin epitomized the outstanding men and women we are striving to help today.” 1 In 1986, Kevin was recognized as one of forty-six outstanding high school male seniors presented by Jack and Jill of America, Inc. at its annual Beautillion Militaire.
“Kevin epitomized the outstanding men and women we are striving to help today….his stated life goal, however, was ‘to be a good cop.’”
After high school, he served in the Air Force Reserves from 1987 to 1995. His stated life goal, however, was “to be a good cop.” On June 17, 1993 he was graduated from the Dayton Police Academy and became a proud member of the Dayton Police Department. Kevin loved his job and wanted to make a positive difference in his hometown. His favorite department assignment was the bike patrol because it allowed closer contact with the community and, as a bonus, kept him in great shape. When Kevin was 9 years old, he rode 32 miles in a Bike-a-thon fundraiser, to the shock of some of his supporters who had pledged donations by the number of miles ridden.
Kevin was married in 1994, but was estranged from his wife, Carla, at the time of his death. He was a devoted father to Dominique, age 5, and Antonio, 8 years old, at the time of his murder. Kevin was actively involved in their education, was their softball and soccer coach, and the three of them were frequent visitors to the local museum of discovery. He had great plans and hope for them.
But Kevin’s life was cut short brutally – on his father’s birthday. It had been a busy day for Kevin. He had a job-related court appearance that morning, after working a late shift the night before. After court, he got a call from Carla saying the boys wanted to see him. She knew Kevin would never want to miss the chance to spend time with them. So he picked them up, shopped for a new video game and took them to dinner. Then the three of them went to his mother’s home and spent the evening with his mother, sister and dad. Because it was a school night, Kevin left shortly after 8:30 to return the boys to their mother. After hooking up the new video game for them, he left her house, and walked toward his Tracker parked in the driveway. He took only a few steps.
A shotgun blast from a killer, hiding probably in the bushes next to the house, struck Kevin from behind. As reported in the local newspaper, a next door neighbor said, “I was in my house in my room and all of a sudden I just heard this real loud shot. I came over here and I seen him laying down.” The article went on to say that two minutes before Carla’s 911 call, a man on an adjoining street called 911 and said his daughter had heard a single gunshot.2
Kevin was assassinated. He died a horrific death, alone, in a drizzling rain. The death certificate lists his time of death at 8:54 p.m. There have been no arrests made in this case, which was assigned to Dayton’s Cold Case Unit in 2003. Kevin lived a life of service until his brutal murder on November 1, 1999 at the age of 31, a tragic end to the life of a young man with a promising and bright future. The following December, Kevin received a posthumous Department Citation for his contribution to crime prevention strategies in a Dayton neighborhood. His sister, Karen, accepted the award for her family. She said, “As you can imagine, this is a bittersweet moment. Kevin should be here accepting this award.”
1Kelli Wynn, “Slain officer’s story on Most Wanted Web site,” Dayton Daily News, December 15, 2005, page Z7-1
2Lou Grieco, “No Leads in Police Shooting,” Dayton Daily News, November 5, 1999, page 1B