Local News

Fayetteville police say operator broke rule in slayings call

Posted December 3, 2009

— Fayetteville police say a 911 operator violated protocol by failing to swiftly dispatch police to a home where a man killed himself after gunning down his wife and two children.

Fayetteville police spokeswoman Theresa Chance said Thursday the probe into the Nov. 2 slayings was nearing completion but any repercussions would be confidential.

The call from the house contained the sound of a person moaning, followed by a gunshot. Investigators say William "Billy" Maxwell Jr., 47, killed his wife, Kathryn, and two children, Connor and Cameron, at their 314 West Park Drive home before killing himself.

Chance said an operator did not follow rules requiring a response to a dropped 911 call within 20 minutes. Police did not get to the house for more than an hour.

A spokeswoman for Mayor Tony Chavonne said he wouldn't comment on the ongoing investigation.


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  • sicks Dec 4, 2009

    LOL, I knew somebody would play the race card with this. Grow up, and get over yourself.

  • wildcat Dec 4, 2009

    It's really hard for a nation to become 1 when there are still people out there who use race as an excuse for everything. GROW UP!!!

    Great comment worth repeating.

  • wildcat Dec 4, 2009

    The dispatcher should have been fired immediately. A person life was on the line and depended on the 911 for help. The dispatcher failed on that. It takes a very responsible person to do a dispatcher's job. This was not the person.

  • Glass Half Full Dec 4, 2009

    The bottom line is that the dispatcher failed to act. Not that we'll ever know, but she should lose her job at the very least. She probably couldn't have changed the outcome but it probably could have prevented Mrs. Maxwell's parents from looking in the window to see their duaghter and grandson dead. As far as race, that's a non-issue. The family was apparently trying to handle Mr. Maxwell's problem without making it public - that's a social status thing - not a race thing - but it was a poor choice and cost the entire family their lives. I'm sure hingsight is 20/20 and those involved have done a lot of wishing they had done something differently, but it is what it is and hopefully the rest of us will learn something from it. God bless their family and friends.

  • sssh.. whisper Dec 4, 2009

    Myra- Really??? Are you really bringing race to the table.. Grow some smarts... who cares if they are black/white/tan/brown/purpel/red... I can keep going...

    The point is- it happened and WHAT IF the operator had done her job- could 1 or more lives still be ALIVE today?

    It's really hard for a nation to become 1 when there are still people out there who use race as an excuse for everything. GROW UP!!!

  • mad_dash Dec 4, 2009

    Myra.. are you REALLY trying to make this a race issue? lol .. never fails...

  • willowisthankfulforchristmas Dec 4, 2009

    sounds like the girl mightve been saved but the operator was probably checking their facebook or tweeting

  • Myra Dec 4, 2009

    Over one hour response time? Did they bleed to death or was death instantaneous? Could the 911 operator have saved perhaps one life? UNBELIEVABLE! She heard moaning and a GUN SHOT and she failed to send help! Billy Maxwell displaying questionable behavior shot out a window in his house not long before he killed his family. Why wasn't this reported to Police and the gun confiscated and his aberrant behavior noted by a JUDGE? Because he was "upscale and white?" A 16 yr old black child fired a gun, hit nothing and hit noone and they sent him to prison for 8 years. With all due respect, a lot of people failed to act because of Mr. Maxwell's gender, status, and reputation. Violence is not limited to minorities, poor, or less fortunate. It is a tough thing to do, but reporting things that just don't seem "right" can save lives, --- sometimes. I'm sure several now are wishing they had 'done' something. All are wishing the 911 Operator had simply done her job!!!!

  • djcgriffin Dec 4, 2009

    We all knew this.

  • itsmyownopinion Dec 4, 2009

    No one is making excuses for Maxwell. That is not the point at all. I cannot fathom any excuse for a 911 operator not to dispatch officers immediately -- there's the sound of a gunshot on the tape, to say nothing of a moan. Get the wax out.