I was 7000 miles away. Morning was evening, afternoon was night, and night was early morning. There were many time zones between me and any news of what was happening with my brother Dougie, arrested for Capital Murder. I read the news and gained some insight, but it was quite a blur. I couldn’t make sense of it. No one in the family knew.
We tried calling the police department. What jail is he in? Can we see him? Those questions took days to be answered. We have a relative miles away yet still in the DFW metro. He agreed to go see Doug. My recollection: he couldn’t see Doug until Friday, approximately five days after the arrest.
We eventually found a photo of Dougie online at the Tarrant County jail web site. Doug looked scared, even petrified. He had scratches on his face; one on his nose and another on his forehead.
This was the first significant indication that the news report weren’t telling the full story. Granted, the media had no way to know the full story, but I know Doug. One of the headlines said Act of kindness toward new neighbor turns deadly.
It was intended as an act of kindness for a new neighbor.
On Saturday night, Isabel Diaz’s fiance, Alfonso Beza, 45, and her older brother, Pedro Diaz, 50, spotted a man moving furniture into a rental house next door in the 2800 block of Raton Drive and went over to lend a hand.
When Isabel Diaz awoke the next morning, she couldn’t find either man.
After looking around the area and talking to other neighbors, she approached her new neighbor to ask whether he knew where the men were.
The neighbor, identified as Douglas L. Kirk, acted puzzled and said he didn’t know, she said.
“I thought, ‘Why is he acting like that, acting like he didn’t know who I was talking about?'” Diaz said in an interview Monday. “I said, ‘I’m going to go home and call the police because they were [at Kirk’s house] last night.’
“When I got to the porch, he pulled his car from the garage, and he was driving away.”
She called 911 at about 1:30 p.m. Not long afterward, police officers found the bodies of Beza and Pedro Diaz inside Kirk’s house.
Both had been shot repeatedly. The Tarrant County medical examiner’s office’s website said Beza died of “multiple high-velocity gunshot wounds of head, chest and left leg.”
The implication: “no good deed goes unpunished.” The suggestion is abhorrent to me. As I said, I know Doug and he is not violent.
Over the intervening months, I made contact with several of Doug’s friends. They all unanimously agreed Doug was not violent. In fact, one of his friends told me about relating the story of the incident to another friend whose response was “No way, Doug wouldn’t hurt anyone”.
The story simply didn’t sit right. Doug had friends helping him move into the house that night. It doesn’t seem reasonable he needed the assistance of the neighbors.
Apparently, the incident happened the first night Doug intended to sleep in the house. Something went down in the house which had a violent ending; however, it certainly wasn’t because someone performed a good deed for Doug.
When she first went next door Sunday morning, nobody appeared to be home. Peeking in a window, she spotted beer cans and liquor bottles on the floor. A window was broken.
“I thought maybe they broke the window when they were moving the furniture,” she said.
When time passed with no word from the men, Diaz questioned other neighbors.
“They said they heard them arguing and saw them wrestling,” Diaz said.
Then Kirk arrived at the house accompanied by a man who drove off a short time later. She said Kirk opened the door only a crack when she knocked.
Chased by demons
The man who accompanied Kirk later told police that Kirk, a friend for 15 years, had asked him for a ride. He said Kirk told him that he thought he might have killed someone at the house.
“Kirk told him that he had fired his AR [rifle] but didn’t know if he had hit anyone,” an investigator stated in the affidavit.
Kirk also told the man that he had been chased by demons and had jumped out a window. The man told police that he could see scratches and cuts on Kirk’s arms, the affidavit states.
The man told police that he left Kirk’s house immediately after walking inside and spotting what appeared to be a man’s arm on the floor. He called 911 to report what he had seen, but when he drove back to get the house’s address, he found officers already on the scene.
The man told police that Kirk called him several times Sunday, telling him he had messed up, was leaving town and did not want to go to prison, the affidavit states.
Police reported finding an “assault-type” rifle in bushes in front of the broken window. Diaz said her nephew saw officers taking several guns from Kirk’s house.
Parts of the news media reports seemed reasonable, while others didn’t fit the facts. I believe Doug went through the broken window, and it is reasonable to think he shot an AR-15.
Doug is a gun enthusiast. He owns several guns. I don’t know how many. He owns at least two AR-15s or similar. He also likes .44s and .45s. Does that somehow make him a criminal? Doug is not a criminal; certainly he has not been convicted of a felony nor to my knowledge, a misdemeanor. He has owned guns all his adult life. He grew up with guns just as I did. I purchased my first gun at age 12 with newspaper route money.
Why, though, did he go through a window and not the door? Why did police find a rifle outside of the window? Does this sound like a cold-blooded killer or the actions of a panicked person?
Many years ago, I read the story of a policeman who was being pursued by someone wielding a knife. The officer turned and ran, firing over his shoulder until his revolver was empty. The officer was then overtaken and stabbed but, I can’t recall the final outcome, whether he lived or died. Unfortunately, I was not able to find this story on the net. I believe I first heard of it during peace officer training I received in the early 1980’s.
You see, even trained professionals can panic.