ATLANTA -- A Jacksonville native was in fear for her life before she was shot and killed in Atlanta, friends said.

Jokisha Brown, 35, was found dead inside a car Friday night, according to Atlanta police.

Now friends and family are mourning her loss.

Jokisha Brown, known by friends as Kisha, should have been celebrating her 36th birthday Saturday.

Instead, she leaves behind an 11-year-old son and a bright future, friends said.

In Atlanta, an ever-growing memorial of flowers and candles spells out the initials for Kisha Brown.

The loss reverberates back to Jacksonville, where family said Brown attended Ribault High School. Brown left Jacksonville for Atlanta several years ago to pursue modeling and acting.

"It's just hard. It's just hard, and she was a really sweet girl," said Joseph Williams, a local musician and friend of Brown's for more than 15 years.

"It was a really bad night last night, I believe a lot of people didn't sleep," said Terrence Armand, a Jacksonville photographer who worked alongside Brown. His photos of her have been featured in magazines.

"She was very receptive, very sweet, very nice, made everything really comfortable to work around," said Armand. "Every time you see her, she had a smile on her face, like I don't think anybody could have any kind of negative when it comes to her approach, she would always be cordial with everyone."

Friends said life had not been easy of late for Brown.

Just last March, her brother was shot and killed in Jacksonville. Another brother was also shot and killed before that.

Friends said she feared for her life after a bad relationship with an ex-boyfriend.

Brown leaves behind an 11-year-old son named Jack.

Friends ask to keep him, as well as family, in your thoughts and prayers, as they plead for an end to violence in both Atlanta and Jacksonville.

"Even though this is in another city, it's the same trend everywhere, got to put them guns down," said Williams.

Brown's cousin, Bradford Hall, a candidate for Duval County School Board, said in a statement: "I hope the man who did this is brought to justice."

Atlanta police said they do not yet have a suspect in custody and they also don't have a motive.