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Crisis Line sees spike in domestic violence over the years

The Bibb County Sheriff's office says 37-year-old Christopher Rachalla was trying to help a woman fighting with her boyfriend, and was shot and killed on Wednesday.

MACON, Ga. — A man is dead after being shot several times Wednesday night at the Brookhaven Townhouses in Macon

The Bibb County Sheriff's office says 37-year-old Christopher Rachalla was trying to help a woman fighting with her boyfriend, and was shot and killed.

This is the third shooting in a domestic violence case in less than three weeks. The Georgia Commission on Family Violence says guns were the cause of death in over 80% of all-family violence related deaths. 

Those cases affect even an apparent good Samaritan, like Christopher Rachalla.

"He was a father, a brother,” said Tracy Gamble through tears. She’s Rachella's brother's girlfriend. 

Gamble says Rachalla has only been in Macon a few months. 

"You know, kept to himself kind of an individual. His neighbors said he was well-liked, well-loved,” Gamble said. “He even helped his neighbor out fixing her car. That's the kind of person he was.” 

Lissette Attah is Rachalla's neighbor. 

"He was a beautiful person inside and out, I have to say.”

Attah says she saw the shooting that killed Rachalla.

"I was walking to Walmart trying to buy my mom some groceries. I saw him get shot about three to six times,” Attah said.

Attah said she heard a couple fighting and Rachalla intervened. He told the boyfriend to back off. 

Instead, the sheriff's office says 32-year-old Keywan Capers shot him in the chest and head. Attah said she tried to resuscitate him. 

"He was breathing while I was helping him, however, then his eyes rolled back and I knew that he was gone,” Attah said.

Gamble says that she and Rachalla’s family are devastated. 

“Because another couple was wrestling with their own demons inside of them, he got killed for it," Gamble said.

Crisis Line & Safe House Shelter Director, Suzanne Walker, says domestic violence relationships affect more than the two individuals involved. 

Walker says they have seen a spike in domestic violence cases in the last five years. 

"Specifically our numbers for Bibb county. Our numbers continue to rise in fatalities,” she said.

Walker says the number of domestic violence deaths was eight in 2020, seven fatalities in 2021, and nine in 2022. She says they predict the numbers will increase by the end of this year. 

“We know that domestic violence is very under-reported, so if these are the only cases we know about, who knows how many are happening at home," Walker said.

Walker can't say why, but says some folks stay in abusive relationships for financial reasons, for child support, or shelter. 

Some don’t know support is available.

"Reach out to Crisis Line & Safe House for assistance. We are 24/7, we are always available to speak to someone, and our services are free. We want to make sure everyone knows that,” Walker said.

She says they also offer other resources like shelter, escape and safety planning, legal services, and counseling services. 

It’s all for free. 

Capers is being held without bond and charged with aggravated assault and murder. 

If you're experiencing domestic violence and need help, Crisis Line and Safe House says you can call their Crisis Intervention Hotline at 478-745-9292. 

You can even call anonymously and always have trained-advocates ready to answer your call.  

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