Armstrong was born on July 13th, 1983
in Galveston Texas. His birth was a traumatic
one to say the least. His mother was in
difficult labor for about ten hours. This was
our first child and, subsequently, my only
biological child. His mother would not dilate
past an eight and his head was stuck in the
birth canal towards the end of her labor. The
doctor had placed a device on his head to
monitor his heart rate.
The hospital was very busy at that time
and the doctor was trying to wait for her to
dilate on her own. The nurses had begun to
attend to other duties after giving Brandon’s
mother several epidurals to relieve the pain she
was left in the room alone with my son’s
mother to keep an eye on the monitor that was to
alert us if his heart rate dropped below the
danger level as described to me by the doctor.
At some point Brandon’s heart rate did drop
below the danger level and I got up and summoned
the nurse. It was then that I could tell that
something was wrong. The nurse brought the
doctor immediately and there was a sudden flurry
of activity. I heard comments such as “We will
lose this baby if we don’t hurry” and “His
heart rate is too low, brain damage could
what seemed like seconds the private room that
we occupied was full of people, shouting orders
for medicine and arranging to transport
Brandon’s mother to an awaiting operating
room. Half a dozen people took hold of the
hospital bed that my son’s mother was in and
began running with it full blast down the long
hallway that led to the operating room that had
been set up for cesarean sections.
They burst through two sets of swinging
doors on the way. Not slowing down for anything
or anybody! They were running to save the life
of my son. They reached an area that had several
operating rooms adjacent to one another and
wheeled the hospital bed into one of them only
to be told that it was the wrong room! It hadn’t
been prepped for cesarean sections. They quickly
wheeled the bed out of that room and wheeled it
into a room two doors down. All the while I
heard the panic and fear in the doctor and the
we had gone through Lamaze classes so that I
could be in the room, when my son was born I was
not allowed in because it was an emergency
operation. So I had to stand outside while the
doctor performed the operation that would
hopefully save Brandon’s life. All the while
thoughts went through my head about what would
happen. Would he die? Would he have brain damage
because of the lack of oxygen to his brain
caused by fetal distress?
cannot tell you how long the operation lasted
because I cannot remember. What I do remember is
the moment that the doctor handed me the human
being that I had helped create, it was an
experience like no other I have ever known. It
was such an overwhelming feeling of joy and
pride and happiness that I cannot describe it.
Brandon was perfectly healthy from head to toe.
I examined him very carefully from head to toe
and found only one very small area of blue on
his big toe (which I was later told is normal).
Other than that he was just fine.
was a blessing from God from day one. His birth
was one of several miracles that were bestowed
upon him. As Brandon grew older it was evident
that his traumatic birth had left absolutely no
ill effects on him. He walked at eight months
and talked in three word sentences by the time
he was a year old.
He loved to sing and play jokes on his
He was very smart and very happy child.
1987 Brandon, his mother, our dog, our cat and
myself moved to Valley Center California. This
is in San Diego County. The work in my field had
slowed down in the Houston area at that time and
my parents had previously moved to California
and sent word that there was plenty of work out
there, so we moved.
1989 Brandon’s mother and I had separated. I
filed for divorce and attempted to gain full
custody of my son. It was a long drawn out
divorce battle due to the fact that I wanted
full custody. While we were separated we
mutually agreed to share Brandon 50/50. I would
keep him for a week then his mother would pick
him up from school on Friday and she would keep
him for a week. It would alternate like that for
two years, with Brandon going to the same school
etc. He just had two homes where he shared time
equally with us.
The divorce was final around
1992 and the court split the custody 50/50. We
had joint physical and legal custody of Brandon
and he seemed to adjust to this arrangement
well. He did fine in school and had the same
friends whether he was with his mom or me.
one point during our separation Brandon was
staying with his mom and he was hitting a piece
of plastic pipe on a tractor. The pipe shattered
and a piece of it poked him in his eye and then
fell out. Before the surgeon took my son into
the operating room he told us we were fighting
(1) the pipe that had cut his eye was
dirty so a brain infection was a good
possibility and (2) he would have to take
Brandon so far under during surgery that there
was a chance he might not wake up.
The doctor stitched up Brandon’s
shattered cornea and tied three perfect square
knots in his eye.
After surgery, which went well, Brandon
spent a week of pure agony at the hospital.
Brandon’s grandmother and I took turns
sitting by his bedside.
We had to wake him up every one-half
hour, twenty-four hours a day, for seven days,
to apply three ice-cold antibiotic eye drops
into his eye.
Brandon was kept out of school for two
he did go back to school for the next several
months, his classmates were told of the fragile
condition of his eye and they were very careful
not to jar him suddenly, as the doctor had
warned that could destroy his eye.
Brandon stayed in the library during
recess and lunch for many months until his eye
Through all the pain and
frustration, he never complained.
The doctor said that he was lucky to have
the eye still in his head and that it would a
miracle if he could ever see out of it.
Not only did he recover from the
dangerous surgery, but he had 20/30 vision!
Better than I have!
had a good life. He enjoyed Cub Scouts, going to
the beach, playing with friends, and going on
“wolf hunts” with his paternal grandfather
in Valley Center.
He started school in California and the
same friends he had in kindergarten were with
him as he entered into high school.
mother re-married and had three more sons with
her second husband, Eric. Brandon’s step dad
loved Brandon very much. As far as he was
concerned, he had four sons. Brandon also loved
Eric very much, always related with pride and
joy the things that he and Eric would do
together. My parents and I were always thankful
that Brandon had such a kind and loving
(Picture to the right is Austin
Brandon loved his brothers completely.
He was devoted to them; just how much we
did not realize until after his death.
He was their protector.
He felt that he could never leave his
brothers because he wanted to be sure that they
below are Brandon's brothers, Brigham, Matthew
and Austin Eubanks
1995, I returned to Texas and bought a home.
Brandon and I would keep in contact
through phone conversations at least three to
four times a week. We would talk about his
football games or his new girlfriend or about
what was going on in school at the time. Brandon
came for a visit at Christmas of 1995 for one
month. He visited again in April of 1996 for six
weeks and again at Christmas of 1996. The next
time he came for a visit was the day after his
birthday in 1997. He stayed for one month and
was planning to come back Christmas of 1997.
1996, I met a loving, gentle woman, with five
daughters, who would later become my wife.
Brandon enjoyed long talks with Maria and
took comfort in the fact that I had met someone
who made me happy.
He and his new sisters took to each other
right away and we had good times when he came to
in October of 1997, my cousin and I were in
Corpus Christi, Texas for a month-long job. On
the evening of October 26, 1997, I received a
phone call in our motel room from Brandon’s
was obviously very upset and told me that I
needed to talk to my son and to tell him to
stick with her even if it came to lying. She was
in the process of getting a divorce from her
second husband, Eric, and was currently dating
At the time of the phone call she was
also having problems with her new boyfriend. She
had vandalized his car and was worried that the
police would come and arrest her and take the
She wanted me to talk Brandon into lying
for her. About what, I do not know.
It was about 8:45 p.m. as I spoke with
Brandon, I asked him what was going on and he
said “Oh, the same old stuff.”
I told him that his mother wanted me to
talk to him and to tell him to stick with her
even if it came to lying.
He said “I’m not lying for her
anymore; she gets herself into these things, she
can get herself out this time.”
When I told him that I would get him a
plane ticket that night and he could come to
stay with me, he said “No Dad, I can’t do
that. I have my brothers here and I don’t want
to leave them.”
I told him that I would get myself a
ticket and be in California that night. He said, “No Dad, I don’t want you to get into the middle
of all that is going on around here.”
So we continued our conversation talking
about other things such as football and school.
Around 9:15 Texas time Brandon’s mother told
him to get off of the phone.
She told him to tell me she would call me
told my son that I loved him and that he should
pray about what was going on.
We then said goodbye and hung up the
never received another call that night.
next day at work I had a strange feeling that
something was wrong.
I said little prayers all day long
praying that Brandon, my wife and the girls and
my parents were okay. That evening after work we
got back to the motel room about 8:00 P.M.
My cousin received a phone call from his
brother around 8:30. I could tell from his
actions that something was wrong. I waited until
he hung up the phone then I asked him what was
said that he couldn’t tell me but that my
parents and my wife were coming to Corpus to
tell me something.
It was at that instant that I knew my son
was dead. It’s
hard to explain, but I just knew.
It is a four-hour drive from my home in
Texas City to Corpus Christi. I had four hours
to go over in my mind how my son had died. Was
he hit by a car while on his bicycle? Was he
killed by his mother’s boyfriend in a fit of
rage? Were his mom and all the kids killed in a
After about three hours I fell asleep,
exhausted from the things going through my mind.
The next thing I remember is my wife
waking me as my mother sat down on my bed beside
asked my mom, “How did it happen?”
She said, “How did what happen?”
I said, “How did Brandon die?” She
said, “You mean how did she kill all of her
At that moment my world collapsed.
court records show that Susan killed her four
children just minutes after I hung up the phone
with Brandon on the evening of October 26th.
Brandon was eating a bowl of cereal in
the living room.
She shot him once in the neck and once in
the left temple.
She then went to his bedroom where his
brothers had gathered on the bunk beds and shot
them one at a time in order of their ages.
She had to reload the gun twice to kill
She then called Eric and left a message
on his voice mail saying, “Say goodbye.” It
has been speculated that her plan was to shoot
Eric when he arrived and frame him for killing
But Eric called the police and asked them
to meet him at the house.
It was not until she saw the police
coming up the lane to her house that she shot
herself in the stomach.
remember very well the day my son was born. I
also remember very well the day he was killed.
In between these two times are the memories that
I will cherish forever.
House, an organization established in my
son's memory. Statistics show that
children under age 5 are in the greatest peril
at the hands of their own parents, with mothers
killing nearly as often as fathers.
Brandon’s House is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3)
Organization founded and dedicated to the memory
of Brandon Armstrong and his three little
brothers, Austin, Brigham, and Matthew Eubanks.