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    Trial starts in Brockton double slaying, rape

    Keith Luke, 22, a self-described neo Nazi, is facing a sentence of life in prison.
    Keith Luke, 22, a self-described neo Nazi, is facing a sentence of life in prison.

    BROCKTON — The three victims, all bleeding from gunshot wounds, were several yards apart on Clinton Street, two of them not breathing and the other slipping into unconsciousness, witnesses said Friday during the Keith Luke double murder trial in Brockton ­Superior Court.

    Luke, 22, a self-described neo-Nazi skinhead, is facing life in prison in the fatal shooting of 20-year-old Selma Goncalves and 72-year-old Arlindo DePina Goncalves and in the rape and shooting of Goncalves’s 22-year-old sister on Jan. 21, 2009. The Globe is not identifying the sister because she allegedly is the victim of a sexual assault. The male victim was not related to Selma Goncalves.

    Luke allegedly targeted ­minorities; all three victims are of Cape Verdean descent. He stockpiled ammunition and other items, prosecutors say, to carry out the rampage that gripped the city on that January day.


    The surviving sister is ­expected to testify during the trial, which Judge Frank ­Gaziano anticipates will last three weeks. Opening statements were Thursday.

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    After a visit to the scene of the shootings Friday morning, the eight-woman and eight-man jury returned to Brockton Superior Court and listened to testimony by witnesses who were on Clinton Street ­moments after Luke allegedly fled.

    Celeste Dos Santos said she had just picked up her aunt and was backing out of the driveway on Clinton Street. when she ­noticed a man suddenly fall down on the snowy sidewalk. She rushed to help him, thinking he had slipped, before she noticed he was spitting up blood.

    She recognized the man as Arlindo DePina Goncalves because her husband was a friend of his daughter. He was dying in front of her, a portion of his cheek torn away by a bullet.

    Dos Santos said she called her husband and told him to get in touch with Goncalves’s daughter, and she called 911.


    Firefighters got the call just before 1 p.m. and arrived before police. Policy stipulates they must wait for police at shooting scenes, but they rushed to help when they saw a woman walk out of 103 Clinton St., covered with blood and ­naked from the waist down.

    “We knew we had to do something,” testified James Miceli, Brockton firefighter.

    The woman had been shot in the arm, leg, and head and the wounds were plugged by cotton balls, Miceli said. It was unclear Friday whether she had applied the cotton herself.

    “It was keeping her from bleeding to death,” Miceli told the jury. She was in shock, shivering and appearing as if she would lose consciousness, the firefighter said. Nearby, authorities found her sister, Selma Goncalves, ­unresponsive.

    First responders tried using a defibrillator, but the device read “do not shock” because it was unable to detect a pulse.


    Arlindo Goncalves, in the meantime, was being placed on a stretcher and had stopped breathing, Dos Santos said.

    As the victims were being rushed to Brockton Hospital, police located a black van seen leaving the scene. Officer Antonio Randolph said he followed the van for about a minute to confirm it was the same one, when the driver suddenly hit the gas. A wild chase ensued, with Luke allegedly running traffic lights and hitting two large snow banks and three cars before the van stopped.

    Luke allegedly fired several shots at police officers, narrowly missing two. “We were looking right at each other when he shot at me,” testified Officer William Devine.

    After police arrested Luke, he allegedly told them he wanted to kill himself but ran out of ammunition, Randolph said.

    Brian Ballou can be reached at