NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Nacogdoches police detectives are continuing their investigation of the first two murders of 2014. The early morning shootings left two men dead and another facing capital murder charges.
It happened when most people are asleep around 4 a.m. Monday morning at the Eastwood Terrace Apartment Complex off of E.J. Campbell Blvd.
The two victims grew up together, served time, and were given chances to correct prior wrongdoings.
Eastwood Terrace Apartments, a housing complex for the elderly and poor, broke out in violence. Now the uncle of an accused capital murderer is trying to make sense of it all.
"Here's a kid's life gone and two dead and by the grace of God if this don't wake y'all up," said Anthony McKind, the suspect's uncle.
Thirty-six-year-old old Decobie Durden, the man known as "Gutter," is accused of shooting two unarmed men. All three were once friends, but they also had crime and prison time in common.
A pool of blood marked the spot where 32-year-old Deveston Flemon, known as D.D. on the streets, bled from a gunshot wound to his head.
The second victim, William Cole, known as "Trey" in the neighborhood, died at the hospital. The justice of the peace found him with two gunshots to the back. This woman says her cousin was running for his life.
"I think he got shot up in the area but was trying to make it to the car," said Lonnita Daniels, Cole's cousin
Detectives gathered evidence inside Durden's apartment, but witnesses say the shooting went down outside in a common courtyard.
When East Texas News questioned people in that neighborhood, several different stories were told. It's the kind of thing detectives and police will have to sort out to find out exactly what happened this morning.
An eyewitness story police believe is that Flemon and the alleged shooter got into a verbal argument. According to the arrest affidavit, Durden pulled out a handgun and shot Flemon. Police investigations confirmed Cole attempted to runaway while gutter continued to fire.
Detectives recovered a handgun today in a wooded area near the crime scene. They believe it's the weapon used in the double homicide.
Another story by the alleged shooter's family is that Durden was awakened and then bullied. They're spreading it around he shot in self defense.
"It's the wrong thing to come and knock on somebody else's door at that time in the morning. It's like a death wish," said Martha Tolbert, Durden's aunt.
Flemon's family offered a different perspective.
"It's not just challenges alone, but you have to make it up in your mind that you want better and you want different and when you put yourself in various situations things of this nature could happen," said Kenya Flemon, Flemon's sister.
Cole's cousin is forming a youth enrichment program after another violent act. He's saying goodbye to two more friends.
"We grew up together from day one," said Fred Roberts, Cole's cousin and the leader of Nacunit. "I've been knowing two good-hearted dudes, you know, something like this to happen, I mean, I can't explain it."
When police wanted some explanations they had to go looking for Durden. He was arrested a distance away on Raguet Street. Police say Durden is now cooperating with questioning.
Meanwhile, pleas from elders in the community continue.
"Wake up y'all," McKind said. Wake up!"
Durden is still being held in the Nacogdoches County Jail tonight after being charged with capital murder. He's been denied bond pending his hearing.