By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Brooke, 22, had danced at some of the same clubs as Ermey in an effort to support her child, a daughter she'd had at 16. She would disappear for weeks at a time — sabbaticals, some of her friends later learned, to the Moonlite BunnyRanch in Mound House, Nev., a legalized brothel popularized by the HBO reality series Cathouse.
Now she was pregnant for a second time — eight weeks along. She had returned home around Halloween to have the baby.
Fierro drove her back to the Barrientos house, 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. But Brooke insisted.
When he opened the door, there stood Tyner. Prosecutors later would 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. Stanton 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.
Fierro 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 cellphone 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. Fierro heard female voices, which he 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' 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 had been the primary target: big, fearless and known to be armed. He took four shots to the torso and one to the head. The pregnant Millie Barrera most likely was 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 Phillips and Jennifer Ermey remained, and after realizing their likely fate, the cocaine in their systems provoked a different answer in the fight-or-flight question.
They 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 ammo — or Tyner, the one with the firearm, ran out to chase Fierro. In either case, both women sustained stab wounds: Brooke's larynx was slashed and her abdomen stabbed. When the shooting resumed, Brooke's bullet wounds indicated a struggle, the shots not grouped together but spread out as the target squirmed. Both then were shot in the head.
The massacre probably took less than three minutes total. Bodies were splayed out on virtually every side of the room: four adults, two fetuses. 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 a.m. Denny Phillips' 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 SW 56th St.
The findings of the medical examiner later indicated that attackers had left behind one survivor, at least briefly: Ermey, who did not suffer a fatal gunshot wound but instead died of smoke inhalation.