SOUTH BEND -- Patrol officer Jason Stone parked his car on Olive Street on an August morning after he received a call for what first went over the radios as shots fired.
The first on the scene, the South Bend police officer heard yelling from neighbors pointing to the home across the way, 1617 Olive St.
Stone turned around to see two eyes staring directly at him, belonging to a man pointing a gun, he testified Tuesday at the St. Joseph County Courthouse.
That was the beginning of what prosecutors say was an intense shootout between police and a man suspected of killing two men on Aug. 12.
St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jane Woodward Miller began hearing testimony in the trial for Brandon Biffle, 29, who is charged with two counts of murder, six counts of attempted murder and one count of criminal recklessness.
He is accused of shooting to death Johnnie Avance, 53, in the man's Olive Street home and Donald Paris, 55, who was outside walking his dog.
Biffle elected to forgo a jury trial in favor of a bench trial in which the judge will render a verdict in the case where his attorney, Jeffrey Kimmell, said he will not contest most of the facts the prosecution presents.
"He was suffering from a severe, abnormal mental condition," Kimmell said in his opening statement, where he introduced his insanity defense.
Kimmell said he believes testimony from doctors will show Biffle was legally insane at the time of the killings.
But Chief Deputy Prosecutor Ken Cotter said Biffle was sane and aware of what he was doing that day.
Court security officers wheeled Biffle into the courthouse Tuesday morning. The thin man is in a wheelchair and missing a leg.
Much of Tuesday's testimony centered around the gunfight with police, during which Biffle was injured.
Pictures of the aftermath of the shootings, which centered around Avance's home at 1617 Olive St., show a typical August day, sunny with green grass and full trees.
Except Paris' body lay covered by a sheet where he fell on the sidewalk, and yellow markers cluttered the street, indicating shell casings or projectiles.
Stone arrived first, saw Biffle pointing the gun and crouched behind his car waiting for backup.
"It felt like an eternity but it wasn't long," he said of when South Bend police officer James Aters was the second officer to arrive. Soon after, Patrolman Chris Krueger and Sgt. James Wolff got to the scene.
The officers testified Biffle retreated into what they would later know as Avance's home, and peeked out at them periodically as they yelled at him to come out with his hands up.
Finally, Biffle shouted "f*** you" and exited the home pointing two guns at the officers, one in each hand.
Then the gunfight started.