INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Brittany Luster no longer fears the man who she says severely abused her. Keenan McCain, 29, lived with Luster for about a year before a violent situation led to their break-up, and possibly saved her life.
"I got attacked because I wanted to leave," Luster said. "It was like, 'you're not going to stay, so you're going to die.'"
McCain as wanted in connection to the murder of his girlfriend, Betty Jean Claudio, at a Merrillville Hampton Inn on Sunday. Merrillville Police said Lake County Coroner's Office confirmed she died by strangulation.
A tipster led Merrillville Police to a Gary apartment complex Monday and they eventually called in Gary Police for back up, who ultimately ended up shooting McCain to death after he wounded two of their officers.
Meanwhile, McCain was on the run with an active warrant for crimes Luster said he committed against her. The charges include strangulation, intimidation with a firearm, pointing a firearm at someone and domestic battery.
Those charges date back to August 31, 2019. Court documents obtained by CBS4 detail a violent afternoon in which Luster told police McCain pointed a gun at her, pushed her on the bed and began choking her. Somehow, her father who was waiting outside the home came to her rescue.
"Honestly if it wasn't for my father knocking on that door, I probably would have died that day," Luster said. "My father could have got hurt or died that day."
Luster said that it is one of many hard realities of domestic violence.
"I went through a lot of abuse," Luster said. "I ended up with a broken arm, I went through that. Just to get out of the relationship I had to call my father which helped me get away from him which kind of put him in a situation and we were blessed to not die."
Luster has a no-contact order against McCain, granted by a judge in September 2019.
"You should get protected more than just a detective calling and saying, 'has he contacted you,'" Luster said of justice. "That wasn't enough to keep another woman alive."
Luster said she wanted to go to the police many times before she did.
"When you're dealing with someone like that, they threaten you, they threaten your families," Luster said. "I knew that calling the police would make it harder for me if I wasn't protected."
Luster hopes other victims hear her message and get their justice.
"I feel real bad about the lady losing her life," Luster said. "To me, my case meant more than me. It was about other women."
If you, or someone you love, is in need of local resources, here is a list of some local agencies:
- The Julian Center
- The organization's 24/7 hotline number is 317-920-9320. Their website, linked here, is where you can also find resources to help others.
- The Domestic Violence Network
- This agency's number is 317-872-1086. Their website, linked here, has additional resources to help.
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline number is 1-800-799-7233
- The National Dating Abuse Hotline is 1-866-331-9474
- The Rape Abuse Incest National Network (RAINN) number is 1-800-656-4673