‘Walk by Faith’: A life taken too soon from a Domestic Violence shooting

“When I pulled into the yard, my wife was screaming; she’s dead Paul...she’s dead...,” said Paul Gillikin, who lost his daughter to a shooting.
Published: Oct. 30, 2023 at 6:00 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 30, 2023 at 6:27 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - “When I pulled into the yard, my wife was screaming; she’s dead Paul...she’s dead...,” said Paul Gillikin, who lost his daughter to a domestic violence shooting.

Paul painfully recalls the moment his wife Aprille broke the devastating news on May 7, 2022.

Faith Gillikin had been shot and killed outside The Shipyard of Wilmington apartment complex along Carolina Beach Road. The person accused of pulling the trigger was someone Faith had been dating and well-known in Wilmington, Jonathan Burgess.

“She heard some gunshots and they looked around and both saw what was going on, Faith got right out of the car to confront him and he shot her,” said Paul.

Burgess now faces multiple charges, including first degree murder. The cold hard truth is, crimes like these are common.

Roughly half of the homicides in the Wilmington area this year are domestic incidents.

“It can be a spur of the moment, somebody who has problems controlling their anger, we know they can be incredibly violent and can turn incredible violent and often times people resort to a weapon,” said Wilmington Police Department spokesperson Lt. Greg Willett.

Lt. Willett added that weapons are easier to come by nowadays, saying that “there are certainly a lot more guns out there then there were 13-15 years ago.”

While domestic and gun violence don’t always go hand in hand, together they can have deadly consequences like in the case of Faith.

“She and I were best friends, she was fun, she was funny, she was gorgeous and a very hard worker. Once she set a goal she was zeroed in and achieved it,” said Faith’s mother Aprille.

Faith was soon going to graduate esthetician school and begin a new chapter of her life.

“I was asked to walk the stage and receive her diploma and that was a proud moment for me, everything I do is for Faith,” said Aprille.

Now, the Gillikins have a goal of their own: to raise awareness about the very real threat of domestic violence.

They’ve participated in walks and events before and are also working towards creating a non-profit in her honor.

There is one phrase that the Gillikin’s follow daily.

“We walk by Faith,” said Aprille.

Faith Gillikin was only 25 years old, but domestic violence can impact people of all ages

There is help available through 24-7 crisis hotline; all you have to do is call 910-343-0703.