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911 Calls Detail Shooting of Durham 14-Year-Old

Posted March 28, 2007

WRAL News
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— Durham police released 911 calls Wednesday that are connected to the fatal shooting of a 14-year-old girl Sunday night.

"My baby was shot … She's shot bad … Please help me …," the frantic mother of Tavisa Cartnail tells a 911 dispatcher.

"The 14-year-old -- she can't move, she can't do nothing. … I don't know if she's alive," she continues.

Police said a bullet hit Cartnail while she was in the back seat of an SUV traveling along Driver Street near Taylor Street. Her 16-year-old sister was also in the vehicle and was hit in the head. She survived.

Operators received three other calls, before the victim's mother'scall, from residents in the area asking for police assistance. The first caller requesting immediate police assistance reported a black man shooting in front of her house.

"The man is shooting like crazy, right now, just at anything," she says during the three-minute phone call.

According to Jim Soukup, director of Durham Emergency Communications, the operator dispatched an officer to the scene within about a minute of receiving the call. When the officer arrived about a minute after that, he could not find anyone.

On Monday, police and city leaders appealed to the community for assistance in solving the case. Police and officers from law-enforcement agencies as far away as Greensboro were out in the community Wednesday knocking on doors and passing out fliers, hoping that someone will come forward with more information.

Anyone with information about the case should contact Durham police at 919-560-4440 or CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200.

23 Comments

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  • JustDontUnderstandPpl Mar 29, 2007

    Also, I have a feeling that if one of that particular dispatcher's family members had called, she would have acted a lot differently.

  • JustDontUnderstandPpl Mar 29, 2007

    mizlady...

    I am in the medical profession and have to deal with stressful situations on a regular basis. However, Dispatcher #1 was rude crude and socially unacceptable. I also have a job that can be very thankless, but I do not use that as an excuse to be rude and have an attitude. There are numerous ways to calm people down and this dispatcher obviously didn't know one. To all other dispatchers, law enforcement officials, healthcare providers...I appreciate all that you do.

  • At Work Mar 29, 2007

    I pray that they catch this person or persons before someone else has to die for no reason. That girl was just starting out in life and now she has died for what reason please tell me?

  • Vstacei Mar 29, 2007

    THIS MAKES ME SICK TO MY STOMACH TO KNOW THAT THESE MUTHA******* ARE STILL OUT THERE, PROBABLY NOT IN NC...LISTENING TO THE 911 CALLS AND TO HEAR HOW THE PEOPLE ARE REACTING TO THE SHOOTINGS DOES SOMETHING TO YOU..KNOWING THAT YOU AT ANY CHANCE GET HIT BY A NAMELESS BULLET...LISTENING TO THE MOTHER OF THESE TWO SOULS AND TO HEAR HER PLEA FOR HELP MAKES ME MAD!!!! I WISH LIKE HELL THERE IS SOMETHING I COULD DO TO MAKE SURE THE GUYS THAT DID THIS ARE FOUND AND DEALT WITH TO THE FULLEST EXTINCT OF THE LAW!!! THESE WORDS ARE COMING FROM A PERSON WHO WHATS NOTHING MORE THAN TO SEE PEACE IN THE WORLD THAT WE LIVE IN TODAY!!! GOD BLESS THESE SOULS, MY HEART GOES OUT TO THIS FAMILY!!! DURHAM POLICE YOU BETTER DO THE D*** THING!!!!

  • Juliett Mar 29, 2007

    I couldn't listen to all of tape 4, hearing that mother cry and plead for help and as a mother imagining myself in that situation, i just broke down. I am so so sorry for her and for her children. God Bless them all. I realize that 911 operators have stressful jobs and thank God for them. However, dispather #1 made me angry just listening to the tape.

  • uncange1 Mar 29, 2007

    after listening to all 4 calls, I think that the dispatchers in call 2, 3, 4 did an excellent job of being compassionate, getting help and listening to the callers. The dispatcher in call 1 needs to be investigated. Because of her arrogance and short remarks, time appeared to be wasted.

  • IteachforJesus Mar 28, 2007

    Dear dispatchers,

    I have read several of these comments, which prompted me to listen to the calls. I think you all did a remarkable job faced with the situation at had. Please remember as you read the negative comments that not everyone has been faced with a situation that requires you to calm a distraught person down, and may not understand that the more information emergency services have the better able they are to expedite their service. Thank you all for doing a job that is not only thankless, but inexplicably stressful too!

  • Crystie Mar 28, 2007

    Editing my last comment... The call that disturbed me is #1 on the list now. The dispatcher was wasting time just being plain rude and confrontational. For example, the caller tells her a police officer just drove by and she says "I don't think he would have driven by if there was someone shooting in the street". There was no need for that... If she would have handled the call more professionally, it's possible an officer could have responded maybe even a few seconds earlier and caught this guy. I just believe the call could have been handled more effciently. For what it's worth...

  • 86racer Mar 28, 2007

    gotta love crime ridden, drug dealing, durham. you could not pay me enough to think about living there.

  • SOCLOSE Mar 28, 2007

    I'm pretty sure the shooter has fled out of the area by now. He may not even be in NC. The poor reality is some of these people never get caught. I do pray they find him, if not, God knows where he/she is.

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