Brooklyn murder victim's grandmother may have run into killer just before slaying – New York Daily News

The grandmother of a man stabbed to death in a Brooklyn apartment building believes she may have come face-to-face with her grandson’s killer, or someone else who was involved, hours before the brutal slaying.
“[He] looked at me with that weird look for a while,” grandmother Mary Levine said of the stranger who approached her Sunday. “I’ll never forget those words: ‘Somebody gonna hurt him, kill him.’ ”
Desmond Holmes, 35, was slain in his grandmother’s building on Vernon Ave. near Nostrand Ave. in Bedford-Stuyvesant just after 9:40 p.m. that day, according to police.
Police said late Monday they’d arrested Dennis Peniston, 39, in the homicide.
Holmes was stabbed in the chest on the fourth floor of the building where he would often stay with his grandmother, cops said.
A security guard alerted Levine, who lives on the second floor, that her grandson had been hurt.
“He’s on the floor, in blood, on his back. Laying there with his eyes closed,” Levine recounted to the Daily News.
Holmes was taken to Woodhull Medical Center, but he could not be saved.
Desmond Holmes, 35, was stabbed to death in a Brooklyn apartment building Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022. (Obtained by Daily News)
Hours earlier, a man claiming to be law enforcement encountered Levine as she exited her building and asked her if Holmes was her grandson.
“[The] killer told her, ‘You live on the second floor, somebody gonna hurt him, kill him,’ ” said Levine’s granddaughter Kariima Holmes, 27. “Later, my brother was dead.”
It was not immediately clear whether that was the same person as Peniston.
The grandmother said she told Desmond Holmes about the strange encounter, and he went up to the fourth floor of the building, where she believes he confronted the man.
“I believe that’s what he went up there for,” Levine said. “He did kill him.”
Desmond Holmes had spent the past 12 years of his life in and out of the prison system, records show.
“He really just started,” said Tayla Holmes, another one of his sisters. “Keep himself out of trouble.”
He was first incarcerated in 2010 at Five Points Correctional Facility in upstate Seneca County, where he served more than three years for criminal possession of a weapon and robbery.
He was behind bars again in May 2014 for aggravated harassment of an employee by an inmate. He was released in July 2016.
Most recently, he was paroled in October 2021 after serving almost four years for weapon possession.
“He was trying,” said Kariima Holmes.
Even behind bars, he kept up his spirits and remained the “very funny” brother the women remembered growing up with, she added.
Holmes had been working construction, but was out with a hand injury at the time of his death, his sisters said.
He had a 17-year-old daughter, four sisters and a brother. He’d been trying to look out for them since both of their parents died last year.
After the murder, Levine called the mother of Desmond Holmes’s daughter in Virginia Beach.
“She was just crying and crying, the mother,” Levine said. “They’ve been friends [for] years.”
Holmes often helped and spent time with his grandmother, who was livid Monday over his death.
“How can people just do that to someone?” she asked. “Stab him in the chest. If a person kill a person they should serve some time. You didn’t have to kill him! I’m so sad.”
Police have not made any arrests.
“I think he should get the death penalty,” said Tayla Holmes, 24. “Rot under the jail.”
Copyright © 2022, New York Daily News
Copyright © 2022, New York Daily News


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