She says if what she's been told by police is right, something went terribly wrong Monday that may have made the officer who shot Desmond Luster, Sr. think he was one of the suspects they were looking for.
Luster worked two jobs -- one as a process server for a local law firm, and his mom says he was licensed to carry a gun.
At night, he stocked concession stands at Dallas ISD stadiums.
Luster's mom, Beverly Luster-Brown, says his home was broken into twice within the last two days – the first time being Friday night, and again Monday.
Luster was at his mother's house Monday when he learned of the second break-in, and raced home in his blue Dodge pickup -- the same one shot up by an off-duty officer working at the Flying J.
His brother was behind him in a black Dodge truck.
Luster called his mother, saying he spotted three people running from his house. He drove through the power line easement behind his home to confront them.
"When they refused to stop and was still coming, he fired. He said, ‘Mama, I fired," said Luster-Brown.
That's when Luster-Brown says she called 911.
"I explained that he was a process server and that he did carry a gun because he delivers warrants," said Luster-Brown.
She gave dispatch descriptions of her son's truck, and she went to her son's home in the neighborhood behind the Flying J truck stop.
"I'm at his house at this time," said Luster-Brown.
"With officers at the house?" asked FOX 4's Shaun Rabb.
"With the officers at the house," said Luster-Brown.
"And you're asking 911 at the same time, ‘Where is my son?'" said Rabb.
"I'm steady asking them, ‘Do you all have any word? Have they found them?'" said Luster-Brown.
By that time, the shooting had already happened just blocks away on Bonnie View Lane.
It was between 4:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. when Luster-Brown says a detective went to the home and told the family there was bad news -- there was a confrontation at the Flying J and an off-duty officer apprehended a suspect.
"Your son came up on the lot and jumped the curb. [The officer] feared for his life so he just opened fire," said Luster-Brown.
Luster-Brown says the detective told her the off-duty officer was distraught.
"And then detectives also said, ‘Well, he's very remorseful but the problem is the report that came from the 911 call said the suspects were driving the Ram trucks," said Luster-Brown. "I said, ‘That's an absolute lie because I spoke with the 911 operator personally.'"
That would have been critical information transmitted over police radios, and if that's correct, the officer would have thought the suspect was in that vehicle reportedly headed toward him at a high rate of speed.
Luster-Brown wonders how to explain this to Luster's two children.
"That's hard for a child," said Luster-Brown. "It's hard for me and I'm not a child. I'm hurt and I'm angry and I'm trying to understand."
The officer involved in the shooting, Aaron Tolerton, has been placed on administrative leave, per departmental policy. He has been with the Dallas Police Department for six years.
By department orders, investigators cannot talk with Officer Tolerton for 72 hours after the shooting, so Thursday afternoon would be the first time that could happen.
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