Local News

Questions linger in 911 call in Fayetteville shooting deaths

Posted November 22, 2009
Updated December 1, 2009

— Police are still investigating their handling of a 911 call from the home of a North Carolina man who shot his wife and two children before he turned the gun on himself.

The Fayetteville Observer reports that while an operator followed protocol in taking the call from the home of William "Billy" Maxwell Jr. earlier this month, investigators want to know why it took more than an hour to dispatch an officer.

Police said Billy Maxwell Jr., 47, killed his family at 314 West Park Drive. The victims included his wife, Kathryn Maxwell, 43, daughter Connor Maxwell, 17, and son Cameron Maxwell, 15.

Billy Maxwell was suffering from mental illness, the Rev. John Cook, pastor of Snyder Memorial Baptist Church, told mourners at the family's funeral service on Nov. 6.

Though police haven't said whether their 911 call center equipment could have played a role, they acknowledge that it needs an upgrade.

Fayetteville's emergency operations center saw its last major upgrade in 1999. Officials learned then that the system didn't work properly.

Those problems are expected to be fixed by mid-February, when the city begins using a new, $3.2 million computer-assisted dispatch system.

5 Comments

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  • WHEEL Nov 23, 2009

    Seems like anytime something doesn't work like it should in government it's because they didn't have enough money. One time i'd like to hear someone admit they just messed up.

  • concerncitizen Nov 23, 2009

    All this beating around the bush doesn't help a thing! WRAL if you have a story, report it! Other wise stop trying to make some body look bad! Truly the only bad person here is the father, the person who shot and killed his entire family! Not the police! Not the operator! Not the mailman, the grocers, none of these people are guilty! So stop the half hearted finger pointing! If you really would like to make some news, hows about counting how many good citizens have been killed by friends and family, etc. compared to the ones killed by criminals this year! Just do NC, no need to do the whole country! Most of us can extrapolate, the number for the entire country? Don't forget the 1 in this morning news from ASU!

  • jellybeanz Nov 23, 2009

    Why must we always assign blame. That man was going to do that to his family no matter what. You can not reason with mental ilness. Assign the blame where it belongs, with the man who pulled the trigger.

  • gandalla Nov 23, 2009

    I wonder what the officer was doing that so important. That he couldnt drive over to the residence to see if everyone was ok. Maybe, he did want his lunch to get cold.

  • sssh.. whisper Nov 23, 2009

    "Fayetteville's emergency operations center saw its last major upgrade in 1999. Officials learned then that the system didn't work properly."

    That was in 1999... It's now 2009..

    I sense a lawsuit