Radio transmissions shed light on deadly officer-involved shooting

Dallas police still haven't talked more about Monday's deadly shooting of a homeowner who was chasing a burglar, but radio transmissions between dispatch and officers shed some light on what Officer Aaron Tolerton, who shot Desmond Luster, was told about the situation as it unfolded.

In the first radio transmission in the shooting, a 911 dispatcher is heard saying, "Got an active shooter. Bonnie View and Tioga. No suspect info; just a dark blue pickup."

Six minutes later, Luster was shot dead by Tolerton, who was off-duty at the time and working an extra job at the Flying J truck stop.

Luster's mother not only called 911, but she went to her son's home that had just been burglarized and talked to officers.

"I tell them the same thing," said Beverly Luster-Brown, Luster's mother. "He told me he shot. I don't know if he hit anyone or not. I've told this to the dispatch."

Officers began responding, asking for direction of travel and suspect information.

"I will ask them," the dispatcher said.

We have to assume dispatch was contacting 911 call takers.

Forty-two seconds later, the dispatcher was back on the radio and giving another description of the man she was referring to as suspect, Luster, when the officer broke her transmission.

"He's shooting at white house, Bonnie View and 20," said Tolerton. "Black shirt, blue jeans. Jumping into a pickup truck."

Tolerton then saw Luster in his truck.

"He's moving. U-turning," said Tolerton. "I got one, I got one of the complainants." That's the man Luster was chasing, and Tolerton thought he was the victim.

For 49 seconds, there was radio silence from Tolerton.

As dispatchers tried to raise him, other officers asked for the location.

Then Tolerton says, "One shot! One Shot"

As other officers asked for his exact location, Tolerton transmitted, "Suspect in custody. Can't find complainant; they ran off. He tried to target with truck. He's popped."

Tolerton then told backup officers, "Get that gentleman first in handcuffs."

That gentleman was Luster's young brother, Damon, who had been following Luster in his black Dodge Ram truck.

It was Damon who said what Tolerton then relayed over the radio: "Guy in custody telling me two males that ran off, they breaking into his...he tried to ram them and me."

That was apparently the first time the officer learned that the man who was shot, Luster, was not the suspect.

The department's special investigative unit has not been able yet to speak with the officer -- they can't talk with him until 72 hours after the shooting.

However, the real focus of the investigation is trying to find out how much information was relayed from the 911 call taker to dispatch.


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