DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — An affidavit obtained Wednesday is providing more details in the shooting death of 5-year-old Khloe Fennell in Durham.
Fennell and 15-year-old Destiny Sidberry were both shot multiple times on July 5 in a Durham home on N. Guthrie Avenue, and Sidberry recovered from her injuries.
That afternoon, police initially arrived at the house for a reported overdose call. On arrival, officers “immediately recognized the odor of gunpowder,” according to the affidavit released Wednesday that was used to establish probable cause for a search warrant in the case.
Brian Deshan Luster, 42, was arrested and charged with Fennell’s murder and the attempted murder of Sidberry.
Luster calls 911, police recall arrival on scene
As part of an 11-page affidavit, officials said the initial 911 call made was by Luster. He told dispatchers he was “dying” and that his “cousin gave him something.”
After providing the address of the home, Luster went silent before approximately eight gunshots were heard.
The affidavit revealed that the first responding officers found Luster holding Sidberry in “what appeared to be a headlock in one of the bedrooms” and she told officers she had been shot.
The investigation summary states that officers saw a “bloody child” lying in another room as they tried to separate Luster from Sidberry. That child was later identified as Fennell.
Luster yelled at and ran after an officer, according to the affidavit, before he was taken into custody near the front of the home. A third child, a toddler, was also found in the home and was uninjured in a bathroom in the back of the home.
Two girls shot, 1 killed
After being transported to Duke University Medical Center, personnel reported that Sidberry had suffered approximately seven gunshot wounds and was in critical condition. She has since recovered and returned home.
Following her treatment, police said Sidberry was interviewed by investigators. At that point, she said she was at the home to babysit and that Luster “stayed at the home from time to time and slept on the couch.” She remembered Luster acting “strange and sweating” before getting the handgun from a bedroom.
Sidberry also said that Luster told them that “he was dying and they were coming with him.”
The affidavit said she remembers Luster then firing at her, Fennell and the toddler. Sidberry said she was able to hide the toddler, but Luster shot at her and Fennell.
Fennell had sustained multiple gunshot wounds, the affidavit said, before being pronounced deceased at 2:47 p.m.
Weapon found, neighbor recalls ‘strange’ behavior
The Homicide and Violent Crimes Unit arrived on scene to find a black Taurus 9mm handgun laying on the kitchen floor, according to the affidavit.
As neighbors were questioned by police, one woman remembered seeing Luster “acting strangely outside the home” before she called police. The same woman said she heard Luster saying, “If I’m going to die today, you’re all coming with me.”
A short time later, that same neighbor heard “popping noises.”
Luster’s interview and criminal history
Once released from the hospital, Luster was arrested and interviewed.
In that interview, investigators said Luster claimed he did not remember shooting the young girls.
Luster claimed had left the home early that morning to go to a methadone clinic. After he received the methadone, Luster said he took a bus back to the residence.
The 911 call made, Luster said, was due to him feeling like he “thought he was going to die.” After calling 911 “for help,” Luster said he did not remember anything up until being at the hospital.
Luster did admit to drinking a “small amount of liquor” that morning but had no other alcohol or illegal drugs.
Luster had previously been convicted in Durham County of assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting serious injury in July 2010, according to the application filed for a search warrant. Police said in that warrant that this assault was found to be “in relation to a stabbing he committed” in February that same year.
Prior to that incident, in 2009, he was found guilty of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon after “Luster choked his mother and threatened to cut her throat while holding a knife to her neck,” the warrant stated.
Police also found in Luster’s history that he had “punched an ex-girlfriend multiple times in the face (in February 2014) and was found guilty.” Numerous other incidents and charges were made but were later dismissed, according to court documents.