WKRG News 5

Family of woman shot, killed inside Pensacola gym says she’s still a ‘shining light’

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — The family of an associate professor shot and killed while she worked out at Pensacola Fitness Tuesday morning has released a statement regarding her death.

Police said Carla Williams, 48, was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend Kennon Farrow at about 4:30 a.m.

Farrow’s arrest report says he entered the gym on Ninth Avenue in Pensacola using a key fob and opened fire. Williams was shot multiple times, including at least one time in the head, according to the report.

Kennon Farrow (Escambia County jail)

The arrest report says Farrow stood over Williams after initially shooting her, and then fired more shots. Despite efforts to save her life by first responders, Williams died on the scene.

Carla Williams (photo courtesy of Aletha Cassity)

Williams was employed by Pensacola State College for more than two decades. She worked in athletics and mathematics.

She was a “math wiz”, according to Aletha Cassity, her best friend of more than 20 years. The friends played basketball together at Florida State University.

Williams’ family and friends say she was a kind woman who helped anyone she could.

“Carla was just a very sweet person. She was a giving person. She was just very smart. She was just very smart. Beautiful,” Cassity said. “She was reliable. If she told you she was going to call you, she was going to call you. She never forgot a birthday. She was very thoughtful. She’d help her family; she’d help her friends. She’d help anybody.” 

Attorney David Sellers said Wednesday that Farrow had a history of domestic violence and was struggling after Williams cut off their relationship. Sellers said he believes his client’s inability to “accept that in (Williams’) mind the relationship was over” could be what led to Farrow opening fire inside the gym and killing Williams. You can read more about what Farrow’s attorney said after the deadly shooting.

Williams’ family’s full statement, written by Williams’ sister Pamela, is below:

“Carla was and still is a shining light — a star for our family and those who knew her. She was hard-working, loving and caring towards all those she knew. She loved working with her students and athletes. She was dedicated to going the extra mile for her students and those she loved. Carla was a friend to those who were friendless. She was family to those without a family. She worked hard to achieve her goals and accomplish all that she did. Carla pushed others to achieve their goals. Carla loved God and she showed it through her actions.

Carla Williams (photo courtesy of Aletha Cassity)

To meet my sister and to know her was to love her! Our family is thankful for the love and the outpouring of prayers and support. As a sister, I am proud of how she fought for herself. She never allowed the abuse to take her spirit away. She fought for her freedom. He couldn’t kill her spirit in life, and there is no way he will ever kill her spirit now. The seed of love she planted in everyone’s heart will always be there. My sister refused to live afraid, and I am beyond proud of her!

If there is anything she would say, I feel certain she would tell her students that they can achieve anything. To those who were left without a teacher, without a friend, without a family member: you now have a shining light a bright star to remind you that you can make it, you can achieve your best, and you are loved. To the women and men dealing with abuse keep fighting and living your best life! Let no one kill the spirit of life that God gave you! Get help from others. Call the authorities at the least sign of a problem to protect yourself!”

Farrow is being held in the Escambia County jail without bond.