Virginia Bridges and Katelyn Ferral, News Observer (Durham), June 15, 2011
Brinton Marcell Millsap apparently shot three women and himself Friday night because of a rumor he had been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease.
“He did think that was the case, but it was a lie,” said Anita D. Baker, the mother of one of the slain women, Alexandria J. Baker Pierce.
Pierce, 23, a rising senior at UNC Greensboro, made an impromptu trip to Durham on Friday to tell Millsap in person that the report that she had given him a disease was not true, Baker said. She left Greensboro in her green Honda Accord about 9 p.m. and picked up her friends, Amesha Alia Page-Smith, 24, and Adrianne Celeste Stevens, 22, both of Durham.
All three would later lie dead inside the car along a vacant stretch of N.C. 54 in Research Triangle Park. Durham County Sheriff Worth Hill said Millsap fatally shot the three women then shot himself once. The car and bodies were discovered just after midnight Saturday.
Millsap told his brother, Dustin Lyons, 27, of Durham, that he had had sex with Pierce the weekend before the killings.
Lyons said his brother was struggling with lupus, an immunodeficiency disease, and was “outraged” when he heard the rumor that Pierce had given him herpes, a sexually transmitted disease characterized by outbreaks of sores in the genital area, Lyons said. The infection can last in the body indefinitely.
Baker said she doesn’t know why one of her daughter’s friends, “who was like a daughter to me,” started the rumor. Her daughter did not have a sexually transmitted disease, she said.
Millsap’s lupus affected his skin and a doctor had recently told him he didn’t have long to live, said a longtime family friend, Stephanie Adcock.
After the diagnosis, he started to make bad judgments, she said.
Before he died, Millsap posted daily on his Facebook wall about street life and a gun, or “strap.”
On May 20 he wrote, “i already kno dat u can cheat death . . . God sent me a strap and said use dis wen u need help . . . use it rite and ull b blessed . . . use it wrong and b on a journey without a purpose . . . road to destruction and im part of it.”