Stillwater News Press

Local News

August 30, 2012

Brother of slain man will march for justice on Saturday in Cushing

STILLWATER, Okla. — Timothy McDowell’s brother was gunned down 10 months ago and for him the memory is still fresh.

McDowell, 22, said he and his brother were sitting inside a Tulsa apartment when two masked gunmen dressed in black burst in. McDowell was shot five times — in the arm, index finger, twice in the stomach and in the groin.

He played dead but saw the two intruders had his brother in a corner. McDowell said he got up and choked one out and used him as a human shield.

The two soon ran out and McDowell went to his brother, Kyandre Ellis, 26, on the kitchen floor. Ellis had been shot three times.

“His eyes were opening, he wasn’t breathing, he wasn’t blinking,”  he said. “At that point I knew he was dead.”

McDowell said he doesn’t know who the attackers were but suspected they may have been trying to rob his brother who was selling drugs to pay bills.

“He was a loving father, a loving husband, a friendly guy,” he said. Kyandre is survived by three infant children, McDowell said.

McDowell wants justice for the attackers who have not been caught. The Brannon family will march in Cushing on Saturday for Kyandre and all others who have been killed in violent crimes.

Pamela Brannon Smith Hathorn said the event is part of the Brannon family reunion but invited anyone who has had someone close to them die in a violent crime to march with them.

Kyandre is not the only member of the extended Brannon family who has been gunned down. In 2003, Darren Brannon, 33, died after he was shot in the chest by a 30-06 rifle in Stillwater.

His former landlord, John Buntin, 72, was acquitted of first degree murder after testifying the shooting was in self defense. According to the Perkins Journal, Buntin testified he thought he saw a shiny handgun in the victim’s pocket which turned out to be a beer can. The article states Buntin said in court he thought his rifle was unloaded and he was trying to bluff the victim.

“We ain’t never going to rest until he is locked up,” Hathorn said. She said the group will march with photos of Buntin. She said she hopes to see the case reopened and new charges filed.

Hathorn said the shootings have rocked the family.

“It has tremendously devastated us,” she said.

“It’s hell,” said Ellis’ mother Twyna Brannon, describing the months following her son’s slaying. She said she doesn’t want revenge but wants to see her son’s killers found and brought to justice through the court system.

McDowell said he misses his big brother who he looked up to.

“I wish I could have one more conversation with him,” McDowell said.

Hathorn said the Brannon family will continue to hold events until the shooters are convicted.

“I don’t care how long it takes to get justice,” Hathorn said.

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