Father-son dirt bike spat deadly

December 10, 2016

Branston Secrest told police his father had accused him of stealing his dirt bike and was attacking him when he shot him.

“I shot him,” Secrest, 20, told police. When asked how many times he fired his gun, Secrest said, “13, I had three extra,” DeKalb Superior Court documents said.

Secrest was formally charged Thursday with murder. Fort Wayne police arrested him Tuesday after an areawide alert that ended in a car chase, foot chase and capture at Goshen and Harris roads.

Police were called around 2:15 p.m. Tuesday and told that a man had been shot at a home in the 100 block of East Third Street in Garrett. They arrived to find Keith Allen Secrest, 45, lying in his bed in a large pool of blood.

Melissa Secrest, Branston Secrest’s mother, said her son arrived at her home around 1:40 p.m. when she was sleeping in the bedroom with her husband, Keith. Branston Secrest woke her up, telling her that her alarm had gone off and that it was time to pick up her daughter to take her to work.

She left and returned about 2 p.m. to find Branston Secrest wearing her husband’s camouflage coat. She smelled smoke that smelled like gunpowder. When she asked him what was going on, he told her, “Don’t go in the room, call 911,” court documents said.

Secrest left, taking the couple’s car, a 2011 Ford Taurus. He told police that his father had tried to attack him and grabbed him by the throat. “I was scared, sketched out and scared for my life,” he told police.

Secrest told police he had gone into his father’s room to use his phone and that his father had accused him of stealing his dirt bike. He described his father as lying on the bed but said “he started choking me, and I pushed him off and shot him.” Investigators found no marks on Branston Secrest’s neck nor any marks or injury. Keith Secrest died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the coroner, court documents said.

The gun Branston Secrest used was obtained from a friend, he told police, but he would not say how or why he got it. A Ruger 9 mm semi-automatic was found in plain view in the Secrests’ car. Indiana State Police also recovered a note that said “Don’t go in there Mom call 911,” court records said.