Dwayne Spence, 25, Shot by Friend Who Then Kills Himself in Brooklyn (update)
Date: Monday, Feb. 23, 2010, 12:45 a.m. Location: In front of 86 MacDonough St., Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
We heard over the weekend from friends and relatives of Dwayne Spence, a 25-year-old Brooklyn man born in Jamaica who was shot and killed on Feb. 23 in what turns out to be a bizarre case of murder-suicide.
Spence was killed at 88 MacDonough St. in Bedford-Stuyvesant at around 12:45 a.m. by a friend of his, known as Ekron, who then shot himself.
The sequence that led to the murder is so tangled that it's still difficult for Spence's friends and relatives to make sense of the whole thing.
"Dwayne came to the U.S. three years ago from Trinidad," says his cousin Kathleen Ettienne. "He did little odd jobs, construction jobs, helping to clean up his building. He was a big guy, fun-loving. He had just celebrated his 25th birthday three days before he was killed..."
Spence and Ekron lived together for years in the building. Ekron had recently broken up with one woman, and was already upset about that when he agreed to help a female friend move to Rhode Island along with his friend Casey.
He had a girlfriend up there, says Spence's friend Ian Barnett, 41, of Brooklyn. Once Ekron arrived at the Rhode Island apartment building, he ran into this other woman he had been seeing. She happened to live in the same building.
It didn't take long for him to figure out that this second girlfriend was romantically involved with another woman. According to Barnett, he went nuts. The police had to be called to calm him down.
Finally, Ekron and Casey left the building to return to New York. Not far into the drive, though, Ekron grabbed the steering wheel and tried to run them off the road.
Casey called the police, and they told Ekron that he would have to find another way back to Brooklyn. Casey drove home, and slept on Barnett's couch. Ekron later took the train back.
Barnett says as soon Ekron he returned to Brooklyn, he sought out Casey and attacked him. Spence, the victim, and Barnett tried to calm him down.
Spence and Ekron returned to their apartment building. Ekron promptly retrieved a gun from his room, and went into the street firing it into the air.
Spence and the building super went to a hardware store and bought equipment to change the locks. Ekron left to go to Barnett's apartment, where there was more arguing and attempts to make peace.
Finally, Spence agreed to let Ekron back into the building so he wouldn't have to sleep on the street. Barnett says at some point after that, Ekron shot Spence and then shot himself in the head.
Spence made it out of the building and staggered down the street, looking for help. His body was found just down the road from his house. Ekron's body was found in the basement the next morning by the building super.
Know anything about the case? Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.