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The Grant County High School community was “shocked” and “devastated” after learning one of their own was murdered last week in an apparent home invasion.
Eighteen-year-old Michaela Briede, a 2012 GCHS graduate, was shot to death at her Fort Mitchell apartment May 28.
GCHS Principal Claudette Herald said staff and faculty were closing the school year down for the summer when they first heard the news.
Gathered together in the library, teachers and staff then were notified of Briede’s death.
“I was devastated,” Herald said. “It’s such a tragedy. It seems like in the school business you are so close knit. The faculty is close knit. Your student population is close knit. So, it’s devastating when you hear that.”
Briede spent her junior and senior years at GCHS after transferring from Lafayette High School in Lexington.
Herald described Briede as “a great student.”
“She was very focused on academics,” Herald said. “She had a vibrant personality. She had a lot of students in her circle of friends. She was very passionate and ready to graduate high school and move on in post-secondary. I ran into one of her classmates and she said they were in shock.”
Little information has been released a week following Briede’s death.
Fort Mitchell Police received a 911 call at 11:46 p.m. reporting someone had been shot in the chest at The Vinings of Fort Mitchell apartment complex.
Briede, who was studying business at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, was found in her second-story apartment complex and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Detectives have interviewed multiple witnesses, including a male witness at the apartment who is believed to have been present at the time of the shooting, according to Police Chief Jeff Eldridge.
Kenton County Commonwealth’s Attorney Rob Sanders took the social media website Twitter shortly after the shooting to comment on the case.
“Ft Mitchell homicide was NOT a random act,” he wrote. “Residence was apparently targeted. No arrests yet. Investigation continues.”
No arrests or suspects have been named.
Briede’s family is no stranger to tragedy.
Her aunt, Lesley Briede, was killed violently in 1992 at the age of 26 by Carlos Faulkner, 46, who is incarcerated at the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange.
Faulkner, who was convicted of burglary, murder and being a persistent felony offender, will be eligible for parole in January 2018, according to the Department of Corrections.
Briede’s grandmother, Barbara Briede, became a victim rights advocate in Kentucky after Faulkner was sentenced to life in prison but with an eligibility for parole after 25 years.
Fifteen years ago, Barbara Briede pressured Kentucky legislators to pass a law, eventually named the Briede Bill, that allowed for a sentence of life without parole.
Before, offenders were only required to serve 50 percent of their sentence.
The crime bill also legislated a 50 percent increase in victim compensation and mandated that violent offenders serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.
Barbara Briede of Walton, who has been active as the local chapter president of Kentuckians Voice for Crime Victims, requested authorities not release her contact information after Michaela’s death.
However, in April, she wrote a letter to the Community Recorder showing her support for the death penalty.
“We, law-abiding citizens, should not have to worry about someone like (Faulkner) lurking in society,” Barbara Briede wrote. “Isn’t there enough violence? It is getting worse and more heinous everyday… I would like a safe, peaceful place to live. How about the rest of you?”
Anyone with information on the murder of Michaela Briede is asked to call Crimestoppers at 513-852-3040 or the Fort Mitchell Police Department at 859-331-2823.
(Some information provided by the Kentucky Enquirer through the Kentucky Press New Service.)