Local News

Court docs: Cameron Village shooting victim hid from ex-husband

Posted September 11, 2012
Updated September 12, 2012

— A Cary woman who police say was shot to death by her ex-husband in Raleigh's Cameron Village had been so afraid of him at one point that she went into hiding, according to claims she made in court documents.

Cameron Village shooter sought Images: Cameron Village fatal shooting

Investigators said Tuesday that Christopher John Bertrand, 42, of Hoover, Ala., shot Kathleen Ann Bertrand, 41, of 107 D-2 North Woods Village Drive, several times with a handgun as she reported to work at Pier 1 Imports on Daniels Street around 9:30 a.m. Monday.

Christopher Bertrand killed himself hours later behind a business about a mile away, ending a daylong search for a gunman that caused 14 local schools to go on lockdown and at least 10 stores in the shopping center to temporarily close.

Domestic Violence Domestic violence-related resources

In a motion for a domestic violence protective order filed Nov. 17, 2010, Kathleen Bertrand claimed that her then-estranged husband showed up unexpectedly at her home on the night of Oct. 17, 2010, followed her around the house and asked her about phone calls she had been making.

It scared her enough that she left with her three children – now ages 13, 11 and 7 – a few days later and remained out of the house until Nov. 15, 2010.

"I was so shaken up by his erratic behavior and knowing that he was watching me that I left town for two weeks," Kathleen Bertrand said in the filing. "I am too scared to go home with my children."

According to the same motion, Kathleen Bertrand said Christopher Bertrand was under investigation with child protective services and, although he had agreed not to have contact with his children, tried to see them daily.

He had also threatened to commit suicide.

"He has said he has nothing to live for if he can't be with his children," Kathleen Bertrand said. "He told my mom that she would never see him again."

The couple had married in December 1992, and Kathleen Bertrand, who practiced law, put her career on hold to raise their son and two daughters and homeschool them.

Longtime friend Lisa Beyer, of New Orleans, said that if there's only one thing Kathleen Bertrand should be remembered for, it's the love she had for the kids.

"She's an amazing woman who always worried about others more than herself," Beyer said Tuesday. "She's always been focused on helping others – a very selfless and loving person."

As the couple headed for divorce in October 2010, Christopher Bertrand sought custody of the children.

In a December 2010 petition, he said he had taken a job in Memphis but that his wife refused to move there with the children.

He eventually moved back to Knightdale and dropped the custody fight.

The Knightdale home the couple had shared eventually went into foreclosure.

Christopher Bertrand moved to an apartment in Hoover, Ala., a suburb of Birmingham, and Kathleen Bertrand and the children moved to Cary. Friends said she didn't tell her ex-husband where they were living or that she had taken a job at Pier 1.

Yet, as she showed up to work Monday morning, Christopher Bertrand was there to meet her.

A witness reported in a 911 call seeing him get into a car with his ex-wife before hearing gunshots.

According to Interact of Wake County, a nonprofit that promotes domestic violence awareness and services for victims, Kathleen Bertrand's death marks the fifth domestic-violence homicide in Wake County since May.

It was also the second in as many weeks.

Police say Agata Flipska Vellotti, 43, was killed by her estranged husband, Mario Vellotti, outside a north Raleigh apartment complex on Aug. 30 after returning home from walking their 6-year-old son to school.

The couple had been going through a contentious child custody battle, and Agata Vellotti had also sought domestic violence protection against her husband, claiming he kept her from having friends and a cellphone and kept her from attending church.

In response to Agata Vellotti's death and to raise community awareness about domestic violence and how victims can get help, the Wake County Domestic Violence Task Force has planned a silent march for noon Wednesday outside the Wake County Courthouse on Fayetteville Street.

Another march will be planned to remember Kathleen Bertrand, InterAct spokeswoman Christina Brewer said Tuesday.

According to the North Carolina Council for Woman, North Carolina ranks fourth in the nation in homicides committed by men against women.

So far this year, the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence says there have been 45 domestic-violence homicides this year, including Kathleen Bertrand.

Last year, there were 106 in the state – four in Wake County – according to the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.

160 Comments

This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Oldest First
View all
  • ConservativeVoter Sep 14, 5:22 p.m.

    "Oh, of course, conservative voter. These wives deserve it because their poor husbands were forced to blow up by the women's actions.

    Your viewpoint is exactly the problem. Blaming the victim....always blaming others. The pervasiveness of this point of view demonstrates how widespread and terrifying this issue is in our society. - monami"

    You conveniently forget that the man is often the victim when the woman uses the system which is heavily biased toward the woman against the man.

    I have several more examples of this including the ones that I posted.

  • monami Sep 14, 2:12 p.m.

    Oh, of course, conservative voter. These wives deserve it because their poor husbands were forced to blow up by the women's actions.

    Your viewpoint is exactly the problem. Blaming the victim....always blaming others. The pervasiveness of this point of view demonstrates how widespread and terrifying this issue is in our society.

  • ConservativeVoter Sep 14, 12:59 p.m.

    In Cary with the suggestion of some divorce lawyers, they play Divorce by policeman.

    Before they file for divorce, they call the Cary PD and say their husband threatened to hit them.

    Once the husband is arrested for domestic violence, they then file for divorce using the arrest as grounds for divorce.

    Then the courts in Wake County give the woman all of the assests, alimony, and the children because the husband is an unfit husband and father.

    No wonder some men blow up and kill their wife after dealing with this situation.

  • ConservativeVoter Sep 14, 12:56 p.m.

    This isn't one sided.

    It takes two to tango.

    I have friends who's wifes take great pleasure in tweaking them until they are ready to blow up.

    These women nit pick and complain about every little thing. They seem to take pleasure in making the men feel stupid and incompetent.

    I had one friend who's wife said, "it's over and I want you to leave".

    When he didn't, she called Cary PD and said he tried to hit her and got him arrested for Domestic Violence.

    She later told him, if you had left when I told you to we wouldn't have had to go through this mess.

  • soyousay Sep 13, 9:03 a.m.

    you can choose to ignore the real problem if you want.. and shout at the top of your lungs that this man killed someone,,

    pretty much no one is ignoring the problem- the endemic nature of this horror, and yes indeed it should be "shouted at the top of the lungs" that this was calculated murderous revenge and yes a woman, a mother, is dead. Is there a problem with shing a bright lazer light on her death and the consequences of the "anger"

  • soyousay Sep 13, 8:58 a.m.

    you can choose to ignore the real problem if you want..

    the real problem is the tacit excuse given for cold blooded premeditated murder, that oh by the way devasted the lives of the children "he couldn't live without".."he was driven to it"..that's te real problem- that kind of anger is never ever ever justified and really "voicing it" inappropropriately??? Is that what its called? what would be appropriate, slapping her around a little, intimidating the courts through hate-filled blogs with thinly veiled threats? every single person owns their own anger- when the prey escapes, it really does annoy the predator doesn't it

  • wakecountykangaroocourt Sep 13, 8:08 a.m.

    you can choose to ignore the real problem if you want.. and shout at the top of your lungs that this man killed someone... there is a real issue behind his anger. It isn't right how he voiced it.

  • wakecountykangaroocourt Sep 13, 8:07 a.m.

    I do not justify the violence.

  • soyousay Sep 12, 7:46 p.m.

    if...if...if...

    pretty frigtening workup to justification of violence.

  • wakecountykangaroocourt Sep 12, 7:20 p.m.

    soyousay.. so it would seem.. but we all know there was more to it than that... if he had been treated humanely to begin with, he would not have turned to such extremes. The courts will not listen to you... do you know anything about child support and the federal tax money that goes into it when cps gets involved?

More...