By Jared Chausow
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Fierro drove her back to 1511 SW 56th Street, where he had a key and was free to come and go as he pleased. According to Fierro's later testimony, Brooke requested that he take a shower so they could have sex. She also snorted more cocaine. The two were alone for approximately 45 minutes before Fierro began to hear someone knocking and whistling at the door.
He didn't want to answer: Barrientos always told him when to expect someone. Brooke insisted. When he opened the door, there stood Tyner. Prosecutors would later learn that Symantha Stanton's Pikepass—an electronic sensor for tolls—had been used to get off the turnpike into Oklahoma City at 3:49 a.m. She had last seen Tyner in their apartment as she was falling asleep, around 11 p.m.
Fierro spent a half hour chatting with Tyner; the two had met while helping Barrientos move over the summer and had an easy rapport. Tyner asked when Barrientos might be coming back. Fierro suspected it would be soon, since few places would still be open. He introduced Tyner to Brooke before they both went back to the bedroom, inviting Tyner to stay and wait for Barrientos.
As Fierro left the living room, he heard Tyner on his cell phone telling someone that the only people in the house were Fierro and his girlfriend. A few drinks in, he thought little of it.
Fierro and Brooke were in the bedroom when Barrientos arrived a short time later. There were female voices, which Fierro assumed to be those of Ermey and Barrera. Brooke went out to greet them; Fierro stayed behind. He heard music and amiable chatting.
Thirty minutes passed. Then Barrientos's tone turned serious: "Aw, what the fuck?" Before Fierro could react, gunshots rang out, and a bullet zipped through the bedroom door.
Fierro looked around. The damaged door led to the living room and mayhem. The other door led to the kitchen. Fierro picked the latter.
Shoeless and shirtless, he sprinted through the kitchen and into the garage, hitting the button to open it and diving underneath. Running, he turned to see Tyner giving chase, a white Pontiac Grand Prix parked in the driveway.
"Fern Dog, come back," Tyner yelled. "I'm not going to fuck with you."
Fierro may have been a dealer of ill repute who once met with Mexican cartel members while his children played in the backyard, and who was barely two hours removed from selling cocaine to a pregnant woman, but he was not stupid. He continued to run until he smashed into a horse kept in a neighbor's yard. Dazed, he climbed up a tree, where he waited for a thought to come into his head as to what to do next.
Barrientos was the primary target: big, fearless, and known to be armed. He took four shots to the torso and one to the head. Barrera was most likely the second kill; as with Barrientos, shots to the back indicated she had been trying to flee. Clean and easy.
At this point, it's possible that Tyner heard the garage door open and went to chase Fierro. But Brooke and Ermey remained, and fought. Fiercely.
Ermey was bruised and battered, hit with fists or feet that fractured her femur and broke her rib. Both were shot in the hand as they tried to shield themselves from bullets. At this point, the killer or killers may have run out of ammunition—or Tyner, the one with the firearm, ran out to chase Fierro. In either case, both women endured stab wounds: Brooke's larynx was slashed and her abdomen stabbed. Brooke's bullet wounds indicated a struggle when the shooting resumed, the shots not grouped together, but spread out as the target squirmed. Both were then shot in the head, ending the fight.
The massacre probably took less than three minutes total. Bodies were splayed out in virtually every side of the room: four adults, two of them pregnant. Petroleum was splashed around and a match was lit.
Stanton's Pikepass was used again on the turnpike at 5:30 a.m. and at the exit toward Salina at 7:30. Phillips's Grand Prix was captured that morning on a nearby business surveillance video but was never seen again. At 5:37, the fire department responded to a neighbor's phone call reporting a blaze at 1511.
The findings of the medical examiner later indicated that the attackers had left behind one survivor: Ermey, who did not suffer a fatal gunshot wound but instead died of smoke inhalation.
The gas company employee who arrived at the scene told a police officer he believed the house belonged to Jose Fierro, a former worker for the company who was recently fired for failing a drug test. The initial suspicion was that Fierro was one of the four charred bodies found in the home.
Blocks away, Fierro was at his grandmother's house phoning a lawyer. He didn't speak with police for two days. When he did, he told them about a man he knew only as Hooligan.
Stanton awoke that morning to find Tyner gone, but she didn't consider it unusual: He normally worked out early. She saw him around noon that day and for most of the next week. He was acting normally. Neither he nor her car smelled of petroleum. Nothing incriminating was present.