Last Updated: 7:40 p.m.
Brandi Celenza, 25, died of a gunshot today at 23 Felter Lane in Palm Coast in what authorities at the scene are describing as a suspicious incident–for now. That means it may be a suicide, a homicide or an accident.
“It’s definitely suspicious and we’re going to treat everything like this as a homicide until we prove different,” a Flagler County Sheriff’s sergeant in command of the scene said early this afternoon, outside the house. At the time, detectives and crime scene investigators had not yet gone into the house as they were waiting for a warrant.
Neighbors said the family at 23 Felter had moved in only two or three months ago, and consisted of a young couple and two young children, a boy of around 6, who had just recently started playing with a boy of the same age across the street, and a girl a couple of years older, though neighbors said they hadn’t seen the girl lately.
Celenza on her Facebook page had described herself as “happily married for a year” to Keith Johansen and going by the name of Brandi Johansen. (They were married in May 2017.) “I love being in this mans arms i never have to worry about anything,” she had captioned a picture of herself with Johansent in 2015. That year, Keith Johansen had faced two misdemeanor counts of violating an injunction for protection against domestic violence filed by the then-27-year-old mother of a child the 27 year old had in common with Keith. The violation-of-injunction charges were eventually dismissed.
There were two other people in the house at the time of the shooting on Felter Lane, a younger boy and an adult.
The older Palm Coast neighborhood of close-cropped houses, and Felter Lane especially, includes many young families, whose children even today were playing in front yards while other families, such as the one immediately across the street from 23 Felter, were enjoying the day in their yards with barbecue and other typical Saturday activities–until afternoon storms sent everyone inside. None of the neighbors interviewed today said they’d heard anything resembling a gunshot.
Authorities swarmed to the scene in late morning.
The house is owned by Palm Coast residents but had been on the market as a rental for a long time, neighbors said, before the young family moved in.
Sheriff Rick Staly had been at the scene earlier. The language the sergeant used, and the circumstances surrounding the incident, are similar to the language Staly had used in the early hours after the death of a woman on Point Pleasant in Palm Coast in mid-January, a death later termed a homicide. Michael Cummings was charged with second-degree murder in the death of his ex-wife, Faith Cummings, three days later. No gun was involved in that incident.
“I do have impressions but I don’t want to hinder the investigation at this point,” Staly said of the Felter Lane case, “that’s why we’re thoroughly investigating this to determine exactly what occurred.” But he stressed that–as was the case on Point Pleasant immediately after the death was reported–the community has no reason to fear about anything or anyone.
“We believe we have every potential witness that we need to determine what happened, identified,” Staly said.
He explained the approach of the investigators, who had to track down a judge on-call for the warrant: “There’s no urgency to get into that house any longer, the exigent circumstances passed so now the time is on our side to go slow and methodical to determine what occurred.” Things take longer on the weekend, when a judge is not necessarily readily available and the medical examiner may take longer to get to the scene, though several sheriff’s units were lined up on Felter Lane.
It was past 6 p.m. when a warrant was secured and detectives and crime scene investigators made their way into the house.
Staly said it will likely be next week, when the medical examiner has determined the official cause of death, before more is known. “It takes time and you only have one chance to do it right,” he said.
But the investigation so far was distinctly different than a typical suicide investigation, which usually takes a few hours and wraps up with a relatively certain determination of “no foul play” quickly. That has not been the case here, for now.
Celenza was not a newcomer to Palm Coast. She had previously lived on Farmbrook Lane, not far from her more current home, and on Fortune Lane, where her parents Joseph and Candy have owned a house for at least a decade and a half.
One more victiom of the Constitution and NRA.
I feel sorry for the innocent children.
Do we blame Ford every time an Explorer kills someone. Ignorance is bliss.
If it wasnt a handgun it would gave been another way RIP
Fernando Melendez says
My condolences to the family of this young lady, may she rest in peace
lou wake up and learn ur history in the 30s this is how the nazis came to power the left wing socialist aka nazis when we forget our history we repeat it today is the 30s all over again control the information control the guns u control the sheeple
Jolene dehart says
Realist: Apples and oranges. When someone uses a gun it is with intent to harm. It is a weapon. A vehicle is not the same thing. Go enjoy your guns. Gunshot is the 3rd largest cause of death for kids. Toddlers getting their little hands on guns kill more people than any terrorist act. Because of so many “responsible gun owners” . Using the moniker “realist” is an oxymoron.
Realist – The left will blame anything and anyone except themselves for anything. That is their typical MO. I am so TIRED of hearing that the NRA has killed thousands if not millions of persons in this country. Give me a break! The one thing that the left needs to do soon is to get a life before they self implode.
Very tragic for these young innocent children. Don’t make assumptions you were not there, the truth will come out. Pray for the family
S. Peterson says
Very sad…A vehicle drove into a crowd of people in Germany today killing 3 and injuring several others. Guns, knives, vehicles can all kill if that is the intent. I hate guns especial automatic and semi-automatic weapons and see no purpose in their respect to the 2nd amendment. This country and this world is getting crazier by the day. It’s sad :(
Big town with big problems says
There are some people on the “left” that own guns so let’s not make this about politics. A woman died.
Well lets look at it this way NRA people…. If cars, trucks knives and hammers are used to kill people then why do you need a firearm when you may already have a car, truck, knife and hammer?
Guns don’t kill people.
People kill people
Guns keep us safe. *sips more Koolaid*
Without a gun, a person can’t shoot and kill another person.
Broken people breaking people.
This is a tragedy to a family. People need to back off about gun RIGHTS and stating it’s the third leading cause of death in the US. Well obesity is number 2. You want your calories counted at the check out? 🙄 Its the person behind the crime!
Forget your NRA debates. People should be protesting for things like Texting and driving, drinking and driving, and the pill epidemic.
Kool Aid. Tell that to politicians, private persons with bodyguards, those that have protected their families, and law enforcement.
Criminals will get their hands on guns, even if they all are made illegal.
I am a 4’11, 117lb 25 year old female. That HAS MY CONCEALED CARRY. I have also BEEN RAPED and I PERSONALLY feel more PROTECTED when I go to the gas station at night by myself to get gas or go grocery shopping at night with it on me.. SORRY THAT MY FORD CAR KEYS don’t give me the same protections that my concealed does. The NRA doesn’t kill people the NRA promotes proper gun safety. So thank you I will keep my 2nd amendment. As for Brandi I my heart breaks for her and her family i didn’t know her well but I know of her and her family from church and school. Her spirit Is with the angels.
My thoughts and prayers go out to her family. Such sad news.
Try to focus people; a young mother is dead and children are involved. Let’s have a little empathy for her family and make it known that even though many of us don’t know her that we are with them in this time of grief. Save stupid for another day.
Brittany S says
Are people seriously trying to turn this into a debate?? A young woman lost her life! A family lost their loved one. And y’all are fighting about politics and gun control. Seriously!!?? Either express your condolences or move on. The family and loved ones do not need to see this!
Pat Patterson says
So very tragic to lose her life so young. My condolences to her family and friends.
When you have a major problem don’t call the police because they carry guns!!
it is a shame that this young lady is dead,and I will pray for her ,however ,for anyone to blame the NRA for this incident shows a lot of ignorance.
Remember you got that right from a gun.
Husband with prior domestic abuse. Hmm, doesn’t sound good. Rest in peace, Brandi! I hope they figure it out. To your family: Sorry for your loss.
A women a mother and a friend has died and all you can think to do right now is argue about politics. You are adults have your beliefs and rights share them with the world. But don’t make them separate the world. I offer my deepest condolences and prayers to the family in children. God bless.
Brandon Stanley says
You people, who all you want to do is slam each other on this poor girl’s death post about gun rights! Who knows what exactly happened, and until we know its not about any of YOU or YOUR opinions….hell mine doesn’t even matter but its frustrating to see that this is all you people care about slamming each others political views and not about the tragedy that has happened to this whole family. People kill people not inanimate objects kill people. Domestic Violence is one of the real problems in this country. and hopefully wasn’t the case in this tragedy. RIP
Tragic event that brings out gun bashing,sad.
point man says
Theirs a difference between one owning a gun and one worshiping a gun or, the gun culture. You know like the bumper stickers that say “Assault Life”? The loose actions of some in this regard make it easy for situations like this to arise. I believe that’s the point some are trying to make in their comments. A butter knife or a spoon don’t have the same effect as a gun on a person in a crime/domestic or whatever. The power one thinks they have with a gun provokes fear or results in injury or death to others because of what it is capable of doing.
That’s why the Armed forces and Law enforcement are armed with guns because they are lethal.
Having a gun in the home always raises the chances of someone dying in that home by that gun specifically. And no, police shouldn’t have guns. I bet this gun was bought legally.
Shame on all you people. My heart goes out to the family of this young woman who will not get to live and enjoy the happiness that life can bring. RIP
Trailer Bob says
My God…what is wrong with some of you people? I young woman is dead, and that is all we know right now. I have guns and I am not a nut. I carry it so I can protect myself or others from nuts with guns, which in almost all cases are illegally in possession of those guns. Guns don’t have brains…they don’t just go off on their own. The real problem today is that we have been dumbed down and cannot seem to act like decent humans anymore. Almost impossible to get a crazy person help, kids think they are adults, adults think they are kids, Mental health issues recently took my nephews life, but we must not ever talk about that. He didn’t have a gun, so he hung himself. Damned rope…No one wanted to help us with him, as he was an adult. We just watched as he fell into depression. PLEASE stop with the gun BS and realize that the gun cannot shoot a bullet on its own. The problem is in the brain. So sad to read about this very young lady passing. Rest in Peace. Prayers for the children.
Chris A Pickett says
My condolences to the family of this poor young woman. Very sad affair.
Kaci Lipthrott says
Brandi was the sweetest woman. A very valued friend of mine in high school. I really hope they get to the bottom of his incident…. and arrest the horrible man. I have a feeling he was responsible.
Mike W says
Joe and Candy so sorry to hear, my condolences …remember her as such a young little girl
Brandi was a beautiful soul. She was always happy and her son was her world. RIP Brandi you will be missed.
The hell with all the gun bull. Is there a suspect in custody? I.E. the husband!
Brandy you and your son are diamonds. Both of you will forever shine in our minds. You will be missed. You were a very beautiful woman and did not deserve to die. My condolences to your family and loved ones. Only the good die young. She was awesome I want everyone to know that.
right and wrong says
two wrongs don’t make a right but three lefts do…… god bless all involved.
London has had more murders than NYC….most were killed by knives. Seems the bad guys will always find a way to kill an unarmed good guy stripped of his God given right of self defense by a liberal who thinks government gives rights of self preservation.
If a gun was not so readily available in the “heat of the moment” over and argument or in the hands of a momentarily depressed person or a child at play, in this case, this beautiful young mother of two would still be alive! All I can say about too many guns in the wrong hands.
yeah cause no one has ever killed a spouse before with a knife or bare hands…….
The Truth says
Is every discussion in our country a political bantering back and forth now?
Regardless of which “side” you are on let’s look at the facts here. A young mother is dead, two children will have to grow up without every seeing their mother again. That is heart breaking and a tragedy to say the least. As time goes on, more information will come out about this but let’s put everything into perspective first.
Trailer Bob has the most logical post in regards to guns and palmcoaster somehow doesn’t understand the concept that knives, ropes, belts. razor blades, etc all have the ability to kill a person in the hands of a “heat of the moment” argument of a momentarily depressed person or a child at play.
Many prayers are going out to the family during this horrible tragic time. My heart breaks for her son. Brandi May you rest in peace
Stop all the negatives.. may she rest in peace.. and my condolences to the family who lost a beautiful young women.
How dare any of you jump to conclusions! You say you knew her in high school, did you know her recently or her husband? There are so many scenarios that are possible. So unless you were there and witnessed it, you don’t know jack. This man cant even grieve properly because everyone instantly says it was him. Not saying its impossible, but my heart aches for everyone’s loss in this. May this beautiful woman RIP.
Brandy you and your son were two diamonds you will always shine in the sky. You did not deserve to be shot. My condolences go out to your family and loved ones
Better watch out that gun might shoot and kill you don’t worry about the person that’s holding it they don’t do anything wrong