Babysitter ‘true victim’ in Dayton homicide, police say

Incident at bar sparked fight that ended with gunshots half-mile away.

A man striking another man in the head with a pool cue at the Glass Hat bar early Sunday preceded gunshots on Huffman Avenue that killed a 20-year-old babysitter who had nothing to do with the bar fight.

Taylor Brandenburg, whom Dayton police called a “true victim,” died of multiple gunshot wounds, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office. Brandenburg was babysitting children and walked outside into the street where she was shot.

RELATED: Babysitter killed wasn’t target of Huffman Ave shooting, friends say

Dayton police on Monday morning apprehended a “person of interest” who they called the likely shooter. Police did not name the suspect during an afternoon interview, but said they mostly likely would go the prosecutor’s office to obtain charges and book the man in jail.

Montgomery County Jail officials confirmed Monday evening that Chuckie Lee, 38, was booked on suspicion of aggravated murder. He was being held without bond, and an initial court appearance was set for 1:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Lee has an extensive criminal history, including serving federal prison time for weapons charges.

“From best we can tell, it was over a money issue. Somebody owed somebody money,” Dayton police Lt. Andrew Booher said Monday afternoon. “It resulted in a verbal altercation and then a fight after that.”

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Evans Cassell III, 36, was arrested at 2:40 p.m. Sunday for felonious assault for hitting Tyler Hudson in the head with a pool cue, “causing severe harm” at 3:10 a.m. Sunday, according to a Dayton police report. Cassell’s booking was for felonious assault.

A 911 caller from the bar said, “there’s blood everywhere” and that “there are people outside of the bar threatening to shoot the people inside. We can’t let them leave. There was a big fight that broke out.

“I just wanted to call to make sure in case anything happened.”

Booher said that after the bar incident ended after closing time (3 a.m. with the time change), two sets of vehicles traveled the half-mile or so from the bar on Linden Avenue to the first block of Huffman.

“At about that time, somebody from the bar fight came by and then opened fire, firing several rounds in their direction,” Booher said. “(Brandenburg) ended up being hit.”

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The lieutenant said two cars — including one belonging to the Glass Hat 911 caller — were processed into evidence.

“They got out of a car and walked up just close enough to where they could see where everybody was standing by two parked cars and then opened fire there,” Booher said. “(Brandenburg) was going out to see the people out in the street” after seeing cars return via a camera.

The 911 caller from Huffman Avenue who identified herself as the children’s mother and Brandenburg’s cousin said, “I need an ambulance at my house … Somebody just did a drive-by shooting at my house.”

The caller said she came home and gathered her kids before she even knew who was hit.

“I just left the bar and there was some people fighting,” the woman said. “They followed our car and everything, like, I don’t know.”

Dennis Gray, who lives about three blocks away, said he awoke at 3:26 a.m. to the sound of gunfire.

“It was either a single shooter who completely unloaded a large clip or there were multiple shooters,” Gray said, adding that there were too many shots to count. “I really feel for her, feel for the family in that regard. Innocent lives shouldn’t be taken that way, by any means.”

There were at least 37 evidence markers at the scene early Sunday mornings, though Booher said some of those could have been items other than shell casings.

“What’s been good is the amount of people we’ve had come forward with information,” Booher said, adding that tips came into several different detectives so he didn’t know a total. He said police want to make sure all of the responsible parties involved are arrested.

A vigil for Brandenburg was held Sunday night at the corner where the shooting occurred.

“It’s important for the community fabric that we strengthen and band together in difficult situations,” Mike Squire said.

“Anytime you deal with a death, it’s always a tragedy, regardless of how it started out,” Booher said. “For this individual, she had nothing to do with the original fighting incident. She was definitely a true victim.”

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